SAN FRANCISCO (ABC4 Sports) - BYU took over sole possession of third place in the West Coast Conference by beating San Francisco 68-52 Saturday night on the road.
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.
"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."
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.
"I just wanted to be aggressive," Childs said. "The coaches have given me a lot of confidence the last few days. They told me keep shooting the ball. They said if you’re missing a bunch in a row go to the rim or pass it but if your shots are falling just keep being aggressive and we believe in you. That gave me a lot of confidence."
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.
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