SAN FRANCISCO – BYU took sole possession of third place in the West Coast Conference by beating San Francisco 68-52 Saturday night on the road.
"I felt like the things we talked about and watched in film all showed tonight," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "We were much better defensively. The guys bought into what we felt as coaches needed to improve. I thought our shot selection was better. We played on attack and had a better purpose to us."
For the Cougars (18-9, 9-5 WCC), Yoeli Childs had career highs of 23 points and 17 rebounds, and also three blocks. TJ Haws added 17 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Eric Mika and Elijah Bryant had 12 and 11 points, respectively.
BYU, which leads the WCC in blocked shots, had a season-high eight blocks on the night.
The Dons fell to 18-9, 8-6 WCC and gave up their share of third place in the conference.
BYU extended an early first half lead to 15-6 when Mika hit a pair of free throws around the 10-minute mark. Not long after, Childs maintained the lead with the Cougars' fifth block of the night.
Childs helped BYU increase its lead to 36-22 at halftime. He scored eight of BYU's last 13 points of the half and had 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in the game's first 20 minutes.
Haws used a pair of 3-pointers and two jumpers inside the arc to score the Cougars' first 10 points of the second half. With 12:43 left in the game, BYU led 46-28.
The Dons worked to cut their deficit to 52-39 with under eight minutes to play. On BYU's next three possessions, Bryant hit a pair of free throws, Childs had a putback and Bryant made a transition layup as the Cougars extended their lead to 58-39.
From there, BYU made several trips to the free-throw line and coasted to a 68-52 win.
The Cougars take on San Diego and Saint Mary's at home next week. Thursday's game against the Toreros is at 9 p.m. MST and will be on ESPNU, with a radio broadcast on the Cougar IMG Network, KSL (1160 AM/102.7 FM) and BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143).
BYU basketball will look to get back in the win column Saturday when the Cougars take on San Francisco in War Memorial Gymnasium at the Sobrato Center at 8 p.m. PST. Saturday's game will be televised live on ROOT Rocky Mountain, ROOT Northwest, CSN California and Spectrum SportsNet and broadcast live on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, 102.7 FM/1160 AM and BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143.
BYU leads the all-time series with San Francisco 16-6 and has won the last eight meetings, including an 85-75 win in Provo this season. Eric Mika led the Cougars that night with a career-best 31 points and 12 rebounds while Nick Emery added 22 points. Last season Emery scored a BYU freshman record 37 at USF and tied the school’s single-game record with 10 3-pointers.
Sophomore Eric Mika has been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 8 Team. Mika, a native of Alpine, Utah, is a pre-management major and carries a 3.68 GPA. On the court, Mika is averaging team highs of 20.6 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks.
Nick Emery broke out of a slump at Pepperdine, scoring 19 points after totaling four in the previous two games.
BYU Cougars (17-9, 8-5 WCC)
- Head Coach: Dave Rose
- Alma Mater: Houston, 1983
- Division I Career Record: 300-108 (12th)
- Record at BYU: Same
San Francisco Dons (18-8, 8-5 WCC)
- Head Coach: Kyle Smith
- Alma Mater: Hamilton, 1992
- Career Record: 119-90 (7th)
- Record at San Francisco: 18-8 (1st)
- TV: ROOT RM/NW, CSN California, Spectrum SportsNet
- TV Talent: Kate Scott (play-by-play), Dan Belluomini (analyst)
- Live Video: TheW.tv
- Radio: Cougar IMG Sports Network, 102.7 FM/1160 AM, BYU Radio, Sirius XM 143
- Radio Talent: Greg Wrubell (play-by-play), Mark Durrant (analyst)
- Live Stats: BYUcougars.com
Series Record: BYU leads 16-6
Last Meeting: BYU won 85-75, 1/12/17