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Tony Avelar, Associated Press
Santa Clara's John McArthur (25) and Brigham Young's Charles Abouo (1) work for position under the basket for a rebound during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Clara, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — BYU is having a tough time pulling away from the West Coast Conference's last-place team.

Noah Hartsock has scored 13 points and Brandon Davies has 11, but the Cougars lead Santa Clara by just three, 34-31, at halftime at the Leavey Center.

BYU led by as many as nine points, but the Broncos outscored the Cougars, 8-2, over the final 2 ½ minutes of the half.

Matt Carlino, who is playing with a mild sprain in his right knee and is wearing a brace, is scoreless at halftime. He poured in a career-high 30 points last Thursday at San Francisco. Carlino, who hasn't attempted a shot, saw limited action in the first half after picking up two fouls.