PROVO, Utah – No. 3 seed BYU basketball knocked down 10 3-pointers in a 90-71 win over No. 7 seed Mercer on Monday in the Marriott Center to advance to the quarterfinals of the National Invitational Tournament. The Cougars will play Southern Miss on Wednesday at 7 p.m. CDT on ESPNU in the NIT quarterfinals.
Matt Carlino and Brock Zylstra were lethal from treyville, knocking down a combined nine triples. Carlino tied a career best with five and Zylstra added four. Carlino totaled 18 points, nine assists, six rebounds and two steals while Zylstra posted 14 points, four boards, two helpers and one steal.
Brandon Davies notched his 10th double-double of the season with 26 points and 10 rebounds while Tyler Haws added 24 points. Davies also contributed three assists and two steals and Haws snagged two rebounds, two assists and one block.
BYU shot 46.0 percent for the game and made 10 of 24 from behind the arc. Mercer kept pace with the Cougars, shooting 43.5 percent but BYU had the advantage on the boards, outworking the Bears on the glass 43-31 for the game.
The contest started on a 3-point barrage. After Mercer hit one on its first possession BYU came roaring back with three-consecutive triples, including two from Carlino to make it 9-3 in the opening two minutes of play.
BYU’s pace cooled off with 13:30 to go in the first half but the Cougars still had a 14-6 advantage. Davies added a 3-point play to make it 17-8 just over a minute later.
Carlino hit his third trey of the game, Davies took a charge on the defensive end and Nate Austin converted an easy layup to push BYU’s lead to 28-11 as part of 9-2 run with 8:10 to go in the first half.
Ten-straight points by the Bears kept them in it as BYU held onto a 32-28 lead with 4:35 to go until halftime. Davies broke the run with an easy lay in from a Carlino pass.
Back-to-back threes from Carlino and Zylstra inside of two minutes put BYU’s lead back to double digits at 44-30. Mercer closed the half with consecutive scores but the Cougars still took a 44-35 lead into halftime.
Both teams shot high percentages in the first half with the Bears knocking down 51.2 percent and BYU making 48.3 percent. The Cougars made six threes to Mercer’s five and BYU outrebounded the Bears 17-13.
Mercer cut BYU’s lead down to four points in the first two minutes out of the locker room. The Cougars answered with Haws putting together an old fashioned 3-point play followed by a court-length pass from Carlino to Haws over a minute later, finishing with a dunk to stretch the lead back to 10 at 57-47 with 15:33 to go.
After another 3-point frenzy from both teams, Haws outhustled two Bears to save a possession at the 10 minute mark to spark the crowd and Davies was able to convert it into two made free throws. The play was part of a 9-0 run, pushing BYU’s edge to 74-60 with 8:22 remaining.
BYU continued to run with the help of another long dish from Carlino to Haws for another easy two. Austin hustled with three rebounds on one offensive possession for a put back bucket as part of a 15-3 run to make it 80-63 with 5:30 left in the game. Austin finished with four points, seven boards and one block.
The Cougars cruised the rest of the way to a 90-71 win.
No. 3 seed BYU will host No. 7 seed Mercer in the second round of the National Invitational Tournament on Monday at 7 p.m. MDT. Monday's game will be televised on ESPNEWS and broadcast on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM.
No. 3 seed BYU Cougars (22-11, 10-6 WCC)
- Head Coach: Dave Rose
- Alma Mater: Houston, 1983
- Division I Career Record: 207-65 (8th)
- Record at BYU: Same
No. 7 seed Mercer (24-11, 14-4 Atlantic Sun)
Head Coach: Bob Hoffman
Alma Mater: Oklahoma Baptist, 1979
Career Record: 499-242 (22nd)
Record at Mercer: 99-72(5th)
BYU in the NIT
This is BYU’s 11th appearance in the NIT. The Cougars have a 13-8 record in the NIT, including titles in 1951 and 1966.
BYU has played in the NIT in the following years: 1951, 1953, 1954, 1966, 1982, 1986, 1994, 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2013.
BYU is 7-1 all-time in NIT games played in the Marriott Center with the only loss coming to Washington in 1982.
BYU retired the jerseys of Mel Hutchins and Roland Minson on Feb. 16, 2013. Hutchins and Minson led the Cougars to the 1951 NIT title.
- TV: ESPNEWS
- TV Talent: Dave Pasch (play-by-play) and Bill Walton (analyst)
- Live Video: WatchESPN.com
- Radio: KSL 102.7 FM / 1160 AM, BYU Radio - Sirius XM 143
- Radio Talent: Greg Wrubell (play-by-play), Mark Durrant (analyst)
- Live Audio: KSL.com
- Live Stats: BYUcougars.com
Player and team notes
Tyler Haws has scored 20-plus points 22 times this season, tied for fifth all-time at BYU with Jimmer Fredette (2009-10) and Michael Smith (1987-88). The record for 20-point games in a season is 33, set by Jimmer Fredette in 2010-11. His 22 20-point games is a BYU sophomore record.
Tyler Haws's 37 points against Washington set a BYU record for points scored in an NIT game. The previous record was 28, set by Roland Minson during the Cougars' run to the 1951 NIT title.
BYU won its 20th game with a 70-68 victory against Utah State, giving the Cougars eight-straight 20-win seasons, the longest such streak in program history. All eight seasons have come under Dave Rose, a program record for 20-win seasons by one coach. Stan Watts had seven 20-win seasons.
Dave Rose earned his 200th career victory with a 74-57 win over San Diego on Jan. 19, 2013. Stan Watts is the only other coach in BYU history with 200-plus wins. Watts won his 200th game during his 12th season at the helm on Feb. 2, 1961, at New Mexico. It was his 329th career game (Watts’ career record was 371-254 in 23 seasons). Rose is in his eighth season and earned win number 200 in his 259th game.
BYU has completed five comebacks after trailing at the half this season. The Cougars trailed Utah and San Francisco by nine at the half and won 61-58 and 80-76. BYU trailed Pepperdine by five at the half at home and came back to win 76-51. The Cougars trailed at Pepperdine 31-20 but bounced back in the second half to win 63-61. BYU was behind 35-33 at the half against Washington before rallying to a 90-79 victory.
The Cougars have a chance to break team records in steals in a season and steals per game for a season. BYU has 280 steals in 33 games, good for 8.5 per game. The current records of 307 steals (36 games) and 8.5 steals per game were set during the 2009-10 season.
Tyler Haws hit 14 of 14 from the free throw line at LMU on March 2, his fourth game this season shooting 100 percent from the line while attempting at least 10 free throws, a BYU single-season record. He had been tied with Russell Larson (1993-94) and Ken Roberts (1994-95) for most perfect days from the line (minimum of 10 attempts) in a single season at three. Haws has five such games in his career, also a BYU record, and one ahead of Jimmer Fredette. Danny Ainge, Lee Cummard, Larson and Roberts are tied for third on the career list with three.