Blue Tops White in Cougar Tipoff


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PROVO, Utah - Senior Noah Hartsock scored 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and led the Blue Team to a 74-71 victory over the White Team in the Cougar Tipoff on Wednesday Night at the Marriott Center.

"We have a lot of work to do but all in all it was a good day," head coach Dave Rose said. "We'll evaluate the film and come back to practice tomorrow and try to get better."

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The White Team went on 11-0 run and tied the score 65-65 with 1:41 left but the Blue Team had more down the stretch and went on to pick up the three-point win.

The 2011-12 Cougar team was divided into two squads, seeing a pretty even matchup with three players on each team scoring in double figures.

Hartsock led all scorers with 24 and senior Charles Abouo scored 19 points and freshman Damarcus Harrison added 14 points to pace the Blue Team.

Junior Stephen Rogers led the way for the White Team, scoring 20 points and junior Brandon Davies scored 19 points while junior Brock Zylstra chipped in 16 points.

Shooting almost even, both teams kept it close throughout. The Blue Team held a slight advantage, shooting 48 percent for the game to the White Team's 46 percent.

"Right now we are really concerned about our group and our first game," Rose said. "We are trying to figure out who will be the best guys to play together."

The White Team jumped out to a 4-0 lead but the Blue Team battled back to take a 13-5 lead with 12:26 left in the first half. Harrison hit the first three-pointer of the game to help fuel the comeback.

Rogers and Zylstra hit back-to-back threes to cut the Blue Team’s lead to 21-17 with just under five minutes remaining until the break. 

Rogers led the White Team with 10 points in the first half, but trailed the Blue Team 32-22 at halftime. Abouo led the Blue Team with 10 points of his own.

Both teams traded baskets to start the second half and the White team kept hanging around with Davies providing easy baskets down low, including back-to-back layups. Abouo kept leading the charge for the Blue Team however, throwing down two dunks in a row to keep the Blue Team out front 40-32 with 16:32 on the clock.

The White Team hustled around and cut the lead to just three points at 47-44 with over 11 minutes remaining on a long-two from Davies and another layup from freshman Josh Sharp

Harrison kept the pushing for the Blue Team, picking up steals and finding his way to the free throw line to stretch his squad’s lead to 59-48 with 5:28 left in the game. 

Rogers and Zylstra hit back-to-back threes for the second time of the game as part of the White Team's 11-0 run to tie the game at 65-65 with 1:41 to play.

Hartsock scored and was fouled at the basket with 35 seconds left in the game and made the free throw to complete the three-point play, giving the Blue Team a 71-67 lead. After Hartsock pulled down a rebound and was fouled with 9.4 seconds left, the senior iced the game with two made free throws and put the game away.

The BYU basketball team will play an exhibition game against Midwestern State at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday night at 7 p.m. MT and will be televised live on BYUtv.