BYU’s Collinsworth ties career triple-double mark in WCC semi
Kyle Collinsworth recorded his sixth triple-double of the season — tying the NCAA career record — and BYU beat Portland 84-70 on Monday to advance to the West Coast Conference championship game.
Collinsworth had 13 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. He had broken the single-season record with his fifth triple-double on Feb. 7 and now is tied with Michael Anderson (Drexel, 1985-88) and Shaquille O’Neal (LSU, 1990-92) with six apiece.
BYU will play No. 7 Gonzaga on Tuesday, which reached its 18th consecutive WCC title game earlier. The Cougars took down then-No. 3 Gonzaga in Spokane on Feb. 28, ending the Bulldogs’ school-record 22-game winning streak.
In a rematch of last season’s WCC title game, Gonzaga tries for a third straight conference tournament crown while BYU attempts to dismiss any bubble concerns, just 10 days after that shocking win in Spokane.
"I think we understand the challenge," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "They’re a top-5 team in the country, have been all year, but our guys are ready for what we’re in for. It’s a deep team. It’s a team that’s got very good balance to them. … I know our guys have got confidence in our ability to beat them."
Gonzaga’s run of 18 straight conference tournament final appearances dating back to 1998 is the longest active streak in the NCAA more than three times over. Only Belmont, which just won the Ohio Valley Conference tournament, has a current streak of at least five.
For Collinsworth, the game carries an additional note, as well. The Cougars are 5-1 in the games in which he has a triple-double. The only loss? At home against Gonzaga in December.
On Monday night, Chase Fischer scored 24 points, 20 in the first half and Tyler Haws added 18 points for second-seeded BYU (25-8).
BYU made four consecutive 3-pointers, highlighted by Collinsworth’s behind-the-back pass to an open Haws, for a 23-14 lead. BYU made eight of its first 10 shots from distance — with six from Fischer — and led 42-24 at the break.
Haws, a senior guard, is averaging 22.3 points while shooting 47.5 percent over the past three seasons and has managed 24.0 while shooting 56.7 percent in two tournament games. But in seven career games against Gonzaga, he’s been limited to 15.1 points on 36.3 percent shooting, including a 3-for-11 game in Spokane.
Thomas van der Mars had 16 points and nine rebounds for sixth-seeded Portland (17-15).