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USF stumbles against BYU

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The 2017 University of San Francisco men’s basketball home finale was one to forget as Brigham Young dispatched the hosts, 68-52.

It got ugly for the home team as BYU stretched its lead to as much as 20 in the second half.

The Dons have exceeded expectations throughout the season, but Saturday night was a humbling experience. USF shot 6-for-30 on two-pointers, and went an inefficient 12-for-43 from beyond the arc.

At the heart of BYU’s dominance on both ends of the floor was Yoeli Childs, a 6-8 freshman. Childs finished with 23 points and 17 rebounds, leading all players in both categories.

Even with the shaky shooting performance, it wasn’t all bad for USF. Head coach Kyle Smith was satisfied with his team’s defensive efforts.

“If you told me we were going to hold them to 46 percent from the field, under 30 percent from three and turn them over 17 times, I’d be very happy,” he said.

USF’s best chance to get back in the game came midway through the second half when BYU’s Eric Mika was assessed a technical foul for hanging on to the rim after a dunk attempt.

However, Chase Foster missed the technical free throw and Charles Minlend split his attempts from the line on the following possession, keeping BYU’s lead at 50-37 when it could’ve been whittled down to ten.

Free throws were a problem for the Dons all night, as they failed to get to the line at all in the first half and converted four of nine in the second half. Conversely, BYU made 16 of 24 foul shots.
While BYU (18-9, 9-5) holds a one-game lead and has the tiebreaker over USF for third place in the WCC, passing BYU in the standings is still a possibility.

After traveling to No. 1 Gonzaga on Thursday, USF’s final three games are against teams that the Dons beat in their first meetings by an average of 18.7 points.

But, all of those games are on the road, including a trip to Malibu to play Pepperdine, a team that knocked off BYU on Thursday.

The Cougars, meanwhile, still have to face WCC heavyweights Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga in the final two weeks of the season. A third-place finish would mean avoiding Gonzaga until the championship of the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas and bolster USF’s case for an NIT bid.

Foster led San Francisco (18-9, 8-6) with 10 points, all in the second half. Jordan Ratinho finished with nine first-half points and Frankie Ferrari added nine.

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