LAS VEGAS - Senior Tyler Haws hit the game-winning shot and scored a game-high 30 points to lead No. 2 seed BYU over Santa Clara 78-76 in the West Coast Conference quarterfinals Saturday night.
"I have to give a lot of credit to the Santa Clara team," BYU men's basketball coach Dave Rose said. "It was hard fought battle. It's the kind of game you expect this time of year in March. We ended up making one more play than they did. We're happy for the win and look forward to our next challenge and the test we have in playing Portland on Monday night."
Haws added a season-high nine rebounds on the night while Kyle Collinsworth finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Skyler Halford contributed nine points off the bench with Corbin Kaufusi adding seven points, a career-high seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks in the win. Anson Winder also scored seven points and pulled down five rebounds.
The Cougars and Broncos traded baskets to start the game with Collinsworth scoring nine of BYU's first 13 points to give it a 13-12 lead at the 14:32 mark. With under 10 minutes left in the half, Santa Clara jumped out to a 22-18 lead, but was answered by four-straight free throws by Haws and Kaufusi to tie it at 22 apiece.
With 4:41 on the clock, Haws' free throws and layup tied the game at 28, but the Broncos came back with a 5-0 run to take a 33-28 lead with less than three minutes left in the half. A 7-0 run that included four points from Haws and a triple from Halford gave BYU a 35-33 lead at the 1:17 mark. Santa Clara's Jared Brownridge responded with his fifth 3-pointer of the game to give the Broncos a 36-35 lead, but was tied at the half after Kaufusi's free throw.
BYU entered halftime tied at 36-36 with Haws leading the team with 14 points. Collinsworth followed with nine points with Halford and Kaufusi adding five points each.
SCU opened the second half scoring the first two baskets, but the Cougars reeled off a quick 6-0 run to take a 42-40 lead after Chase Fischer connected from deep at the 16:30 mark. Kaufusi's putback ignited another 7-0 BYU run that included Kaufusi's dish to Collinsworth for a dunk and a triple by Winder to extend the lead to 56-48 with 11:03 left in the game.
Haws went on a solo 6-0 run to push the lead up to eight at 67-59 with 7:16 remaining. The Broncos chipped away at their deficit to make it a one-point game, but was answered by consecutive drives by Halford to put BYU back up 74-69 with 3:52 on the clock. Santa Clara came back to tie the game at 76 apiece with 26 seconds left despite the Cougars' five-point lead at the 1:22 mark. Out of BYU's timeout, Haws connected on a jumper from the top of the key with 2.5 seconds left for the game-winner and the 78-76 win.
BYU outrebounded SCU 36-32 and outscored its bench 20-6 in the victory.
The Cougars advance to the WCC semifinals to take on No. 6 seed Portland on Monday at 8:30 p.m. PDT. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 and broadcast on the Cougar IMG Sports Network on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM.