Santa Clara vs. BYU: Preview, Score Prediction
Check out the Santa Clara vs. BYU game preview and score prediction
Santa Clara (8-16, 5-7) vs. BYU (18-7, 7-5) Game Preview
Date: Thursday, February 8th
Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. MT
Venue: Marriott Center
Radio: BYU Sports Network/BYU Radio & KSL 1160/102.7 FM
PROJECTED SANTA CLARA LINEUP
PROJECTED BYU LINEUP
THREE KEYS TO A BYU VICTORY
- Show Up & Play
Very interested in seeing how BYU performs tonight. BYU is out of contention for a West Coast Conference regular-season title and they are out of the NCAA Tournament at-large conversation. What is there to play for until the WCC Tournament in Vegas? Honestly, not much. But BYU needs to still show up and perform. Can be easy to get lulled to sleep with a 9 p.m. tip against a team that’s ranked No. 278 in the latest KenPom rankings, but you still need to go out and perform. Because how embarrassing would it be if BYU was to lose to this Santa Clara squad? Yikes.
- Find some bench scoring
BYU put up a big, fat, zero against Gonzaga last Saturday in Spokane in regards to bench scoring. A game against an eight-win team might pose opportunities to bring life to a bench, but it’s hard to expect drastic improvement. Dalton Nixon is still working to get back to 100-percent, McKay Cannon has struggled since emerging on opponents scouting reports and Payton Dastrup’s minutes are not consistent enough to give him a chance at finding a role. If BYU wants to have any prayer of playing Cinderella in Vegas against St. Mary’s and Gonzaga, going to need a bench to win three games in four days.
- Contain Santa Clara’s KJ Feagin…again
In the first matchup between these two teams, BYU dominated from start to finish. It was the Cougars best and most complete game of the season. Now that game wasn’t a true indicator of BYU as a team on a nightly basis and you can’t assume that Santa Clara’s KJ Feagin will be held to nine points again like he was back on January 13th in the Cougars 84-50 victory. Feagin is the Broncos leading scorer and he will play a lot better this time around against BYU as the Cougars look to find that toughness that made them a threat in the WCC earlier in league play.
Too much Yoeli Childs and Eli Bryant for Santa Clara to give BYU a legitimate scare. But the Broncos will hang around and be more competitive than they were in the last meeting in the Bay Area.
BYU 81, Santa Clara 68