(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Senior Noah Hartsock and some stingy defense led the BYU men’s basketball team to a 83-73 West Coast Conference victory over the No. 24 Gonzaga Bulldogs Thursday night in the Marriott Center.
"This was a big win for our team and for our guys," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "Every player that went in the game tonight played with real urgency and great effort. Our effort was extremely high the whole night and that was our focus going in."
Hartsock scored a game-high 24 points and set a career high with 14 rebounds for his third double-double of the season and sixth of his career. He started the game 3 of 10 shooting before hitting 7 of his 9 attempts in the second half. Matt Carlino added 18 points and five assists.
To watch video click here
Senior Brandon Davies managed 15 points on 7 of 12 shooting and five boards. Anson Winder scored 10 points, dished out five assists and had his third-straight game with three steals. The Cougars held Gonzaga to 3 of 19 (15.8 percent) from three-point range and had a season-best 14 steals.
Winder led a strong defensive effort with three of BYU’s 12 first-half steals. The Cougars scored 18 first-half points off turnovers, including eight on fast breaks. BYU held Gonzaga to 3 of 20 shooting in the final 15:40 of the half.
The teams exchanged the lead several times throughout the half before the Cougars pulled ahead 17-15 at the 10:08 mark. BYU outscored the Bulldogs 21-9 in the final 10 minutes of the period.
Damarcus Harrison sparked BYU with just over two minutes remaining with five straight points including a 3-pointer. Senior Craig Cusick ended the half with a steal and dish to Winder, who made a lay up as the buzzer sounded to put the Cougars up 38-24 at the half.
BYU pulled up by a game-high 19 points at 55-36 in the first seven minutes of the second half. The Zags narrowed it to 11 with an 8-0 run, but BYU responded with an 8-0 run of their own to make the score 63-44.
Gonzaga chipped away at the lead in the final six minutes and eventually got it down to single digits at 79-70 with 1:19 remaining. The Zags hit a three to get within eight in the final minute, but were unable to overcome the deficit.
The Cougars will travel to the state of Oregon to continue their WCC schedule against the Portland Pilots on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PST and the game will be broadcast on BYUtv and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.