There's no way BYU coaches or players want Thursday's basketball game against Santa Clara to go down the same way as the first one.
Tyler Haws on the bench with two fouls in the opening minute still equals not good.
"I hope it doesn't happen again," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "When I think about what happened there, that was a tough situation."
But not so tough that BYU didn't build from it. The Cougars throttled a short-handed Broncos team Jan. 18, getting production that bolstered Anson Winder's game and helped the Cougars believe they could play well even if Haws – one of the top five scorers in the country these days — was missing in large spans.
It also took about 15-18 game minutes off Haws' legs, which is no small feat for how much the Cougars require of him.
Haws acknowledged the rest helped a little in the longer run. He dominated SCU in the second half and has been special the last four games, as well.
"But I don't want to see that happen again, either," Haws said, smiling.
BYU's rematch with SCU will be at 9 p.m. (ESPNU) at the Marriott Center.
The Broncos have done a late-season fade (10-14 overall, 3-8 in West Coast Conference games) but have won at Saint Mary's and Portland – where BYU lost the game right after beating SCU in the Bay Area.
There was also a close call at home against Gonzaga. The Broncos lost, 91-81, to BYU but clawed back the last 10 minutes against the visitors.
"It's obviously a capable team of going on the road and putting a good game together," Rose said.
BYU (15-9, 7-4) has won its last two games, both at home, after the disappointing two-game skid in the Pacific Northwest (Portland, Gonzaga).
After SCU, BYU will play in Provo on Saturday against San Francisco before returning to the road the following Thursday and Saturday.
BYU's clicked with some extra parts, spurred in opportunity by Haws providing so much offensive firepower — 158 points since the start of the second half against Santa Clara, a span of 4 1/2 games.
But Winder filled in more than capably when Haws was seated at SCU (16 points in 21 minutes) and has been a model of efficiency.
The junior guard has made 9-of-12 shots (4-of-5 3-pointers) since his breakout.
"I think I've tried to maintain my overall shot selection," Winder said. "And I've been shooting a lot more after practice. Then get the best shot I can during games and just focus on the opportunity."
He points out that BYU, as a group, "is valuing each possession more right now."
That may be more valuable as Santa Clara is back to full strength. It sat two key players for academic issues in the previous meeting, including standout guard Evan Roquemore.
Winder's childhood friend (Las Vegas area) is still averaging 11.3 points and nearly four assists while coming off the bench these days.
"He brings experience to a really young team," Haws said of the 6-foot-3 senior.
BYU's been pleased with its defensive presence of late, especially at coaxing teams into a harder time from 3-point range.
Communication at that end of the floor has been bolstered in recent games, too, Matt Carlino added.
Santa Clara was just 9-of-25 in the first meeting.
BYU (15-9, 7-4) vs. Santa Clara (10-14, 3-8)
9 p.m. Marriott Center
Radio: KSL 1160 AM (102.7 FM)
Tip-ins: Tyler Haws is currently leading the WCC in scoring, third nationally (24.6 points). ...BYU has won its last 2 games and is tied with San Francisco for 2nd place. The Cougars and Dons meet Saturday night in Provo. ...6-foot guard Brandon Clark and 6-2 Jared Brownridge lead SCU, each averaging 16.9 points.