SAN DIEGO – Four players scored in double figures to lead the BYU men’s basketball team to its fifth consecutive victory, an 82-63 win over the San Diego Toreros at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on Monday.
Junior Brock Zylstra led the Cougars, now 16-4 overall and 5-1 in WCC play, with 17 points on 6 of 11 shooting, including 5 of 8 from three-point range. Freshman Matt Carlino and senior Charles Abouo each added 14 points and seven rebounds.
Brandon Davies managed his second double double against USD (6-11, 1-4) this season with 12 points and 12 boards. Davies led the game in rebounds and helped BYU gain an 18-rebound advantage over the Toreros at 46-28.
"This win was kind of special for us," head coach Dave Rose said. "We had a lot of challenges we experienced for the first time as a team this year. Anytime you play a team the second time in league it is a real challenge."
USD jumped out to a 9-2 lead early while BYU started the game 1 of 9 shooting. The Cougars slowly narrowed the deficit with threes from Carlino, Noah Hartsock and Craig Cusick, and took their first lead at 19-17 with 9:48 remaining in the half.
“When we came in here tonight (San Diego) was bound and determined to not to let our two post guys have their way, especially offensively," Rose said. "It kind of surprised us at first. When we got into halftime then everyone could understand this is what we are in for.”
BYU outscored the Toreros 20-12 in the final 10 minutes of the half to expand the lead to eight at 37-29 heading into the locker room. Zylstra ended the half on a high note for BYU by draining a deep three just before the buzzer.
Abouo led the Cougars with 10 points in the opening 20 minutes. The remaining 27 points were spread among six BYU players, including Carlino, who added seven in the half.
Zylstra scored 14 points in the second half to help BYU expand their lead. Carlino got the Cougars off to a fast start in the half with five quick points before Zylstra hit two-consecutive threes to make the score 56-41.
The BYU lead grew to 22 with just under eight minutes remaining thanks to the second 9-0 run of the game. USD was unable to close the deficit for the remainder of the game as BYU continued to hit shots, nailing 14 of 28 from the field and 6 of 12 from beyond the arc for the half.
“I really like this team. I like the guys. I like the makeup of them," Rose said. "They know what we need to do and tonight they were able to get it done a different way than we have normally done."
BYU returns to the Marriott Center to play Loyola Marymount on Thursday, January 19. The game will begin at 6:30 p.m. MST and will be broadcast live on BYUtv and KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM.