PROVO, Utah – Leading a solid performance by the BYU bench, Agustin Ambrosino scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds to help the Cougars to a 95-62 victory over Eastern New Mexico at the Marriott Center Tuesday night.
BYU (8-3) shot 53 percent from the field while holding ENMU (5-6) to 36 percent shooting. A solid team effort on defense amounted to 12 steals and four blocked shots for the Cougars.
“It was a good win for our team," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "I think our guys consistently played well throughout the game. Number 22 (Jordan Romero) got away from us a couple times in the first half and made some big shots but I’m happy for some of the bench guys who got in and had big nights. It’ll help their confidence and it’ll help our team as well.”
Tyler Haws led BYU in scoring with 19 points, shooting 9 of 15 from the field. Brandon Davies chipped in 17 points in 21 minutes, shooting 60 percent from the field and making 4 of 5 free throws.
Matt Carlino scored first for the Cougars on a 3-pointer assisted by Davies. Consecutive baskets by Haws put the Cougars up 7-4, but ENMU's Dennis Hardwell tied it on the next possession with a 3-pointer of his own.
About four minutes into the first half, Davies drove right from the top of the perimeter and found the defense collapsing on him. He scooped the ball around the help defender to find Ambrosino cutting along the baseline for a bucket and the foul to make the score 16-11. Along with his 17 points, Davies chipped in six boards, three assists, two blocks and a steal.
After a stop on the next defensive possession, Craig Cusick found Davies again at the top of the perimeter. This time Davies pulled up and swished the shot from long distance for a 19-11 lead.
With 11:30 to play in the first, Raul Delgado carefully lobbed the ball to Davies on the left block who then pump faked and went up for a reverse slam. Two possessions later, Delgado picked off a pass on the left sideline and beat the Greyhound defense up the court for a two-handed dunk. Delgado had six rebounds, three assists and two steals to go along with his four points off the bench.
Jordan Romero kept the Greyhounds in the game with a personal 9-0 run over a two-minute span. All nine points during the run came from behind the arc, pulling ENMU within five points at 27-22 with 8:30 to play in the half.
With about three minutes remaining in the half, Davies showed great help defense and picked up his second block of the game. ENMU's Romero, however, recovered the blocked shot in the left corner and pulled up to make his fourth 3-pointer of the half.
Haws's layup with six seconds to play in the half gave BYU its largest lead to that point at 44-29. Cusick, who recorded his season high with six dimes on the night, assisted on the play just before halftime.
The Cougars opened the second half with a solid defensive stop as sophomore Nate Austin dove on the floor at midcourt to secure a steal. On the following offensive possession, Austin dumped the ball into Davies from the high post for an easy layup.
A floater by Cusick and mid-range jumper from Haws pushed the BYU lead to 19. After McFarland put home a dunk in transition for the Greyhounds, the Cougars responded with back-to-back 3-pointers from Austin and Haws to go up 56-33 with 16:46 to play.
BYU's defense continued to play well, forcing four turnovers in the first four minutes of the second half. The Cougars had trouble finishing at the rim, however, missing several opportunities in the paint before Josh Sharp scored on an up-and-under with 14:17 remaining, putting BYU up 58-35.
Sharp scored again less than a minute later on an alley-oop in transition after BYU forced another turnover. He finished the night with six points and three rebounds in 13 minutes.
A short jumper from Ambrosino with 10:42 to play put the home team up by 31 points at 69-38. Ambrosino played a season-high 22 minutes and totaled 14 points, eight rebounds and two assists on the night, shooting 6 of 13 from the field.
With the game well in hand and BYU's starters on the bench, freshman point guard Cory Calvert scored 10 points in the final eight minutes on four consecutive shots, including two from downtown. Calvert finished the game with 10 points and two assists in 16 minutes off the bench.
The Cougars head to Waco, Texas, to face Baylor on Friday. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CST. The game will be televised on ESPN2 and broadcast on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM.