LAS VEGAS (AP) - Noah Hartsock and Brandon Davies combined for 27 second-half points to lead BYU to a 73-68 win over San Diego in a West Coast Conference tournament quarterfinal game on Friday night.
Hartsock finished with 19 points, including a pair of free throws with 6.5 seconds to play, and Davies scored 16 for the third-seeded Cougars (25-7), who will play second- seeded Gonzaga (23-5) in Saturday's second semifinal.
Brock Zylstra added 12 points and Charles Abouo had 11 points and seven rebounds for BYU, playing in its first WCC tournament.
"Brandon, Noah and Brock have played a lot of tournament games," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "I have a lot of confidence in these guys; that they can get things done."
The score was tied at 34 at halftime, but Hartsock scored eight points during the first 5:52 of the second half. Hartsock's jumper with 17:42 left gave the Cougars a 42-40 lead, and they stayed ahead from that point.
|Field Goals||26-55 (47%)||29-53 (55%)|
|Three Pointers||6-23 (26%)||7-15 (47%)|
|Free Throws||10-16 (63%)||8-14 (57%)|
|Rebounds (Offensive)||27 (5)||30 (5)|
"We knew we'd have to be the most aggressive team," said Hartsock, who sat out the Cougars' final regular-season game against Portland last week with a knee injury. "We had to come out and compete.
"Coming in, I knew I wasn't going to be 100 percent. I started to feel better as the game went on and the adrenaline started flowing."
Hartsock grabbed the rebound after San Diego missed a last-second shot and made the two foul shots to clinch the win.
"Our guys got more confident this afternoon in the shoot- around because they knew Noah was going to be back," Rose said.
Dennis Kramer led San Diego (13-18) with 17 points and nine rebounds. Christopher Anderson had 14 points and six assists, and Chris Manresa scored 13 points for the sixth- seeded Toreros, who beat Pepperdine on Thursday night.
Freshman Johnny Dee scored a season-high 30 points in the win over the Waves, but on Friday he finished with nine points on 3-for-11 shooting.
San Diego scored the last six points of the first half to force the tie. Anderson's three-point play and John Sinis' 3-pointer drew the Toreros even. Both teams shot 50 percent in the first half, but BYU finished the game at 55 percent while San Diego ended at 47 percent.
Can't say enough about the gritty performance of Noah Hartsock. 19 points and 5 rebounds on one leg. BYU loses that game without him.
Hartsock and Davies were the big difference, with Hartsock making 6 of 9 shots after halftime and Davies 5 of 7 to lift BYU into a game against Gonzaga and send San Diego home.
"I anticipated (Hartsock) playing, he's the heart and soul of that team," San Diego coach Bill Greer said." I knew he'd do everything he could just to be out on the floor. He's a warrior. He's a very, very tough competitor."
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