SALT LAKE CITY – Freshman guard Frank Bartley IV spurred the BYU men’s basketball team to an 85-74 victory over in-state rivals Utah State at EnergySolutions Arena on Saturday.
“I just thought that we needed some guys to attack on offense," BYU basketball coach Dave Rose said. "I really felt like the end of that first half we got a little bit stagnant in our offense and then they kind of diced us up a little bit and got a lead. So we felt going into that second half if we get some guys to really attack them, it might change the pace of the game. Frank did a great job, played a great game, (and) a terrific second half.”
Bartley, who finished with 14 points and five rebounds, led a key 11-2 run to give BYU a 74-63 lead. Tyler Haws finished with a game-high 21 points, while Kyle Collinsworth contributed seven points, eight assists and a season-high 13 rebounds.
“Frank came in and he played great and so we kept the small lineup," Collinsworth said. "We just fueled off Frank because he played an awesome game.”
The Cougars (6-2) outscored the Aggies (5-1) in the paint 54-38 and capitalized on Aggie turnovers, scoring 19 points off turnovers to the Aggies' six. BYU also led in fast break points outscoring USU 20-0 and kept USU to a 35.3 shooting percentage in the second half.
BYU led early with a Haws steal and a two-hand dunk to go up 14-10 at the 16:24 mark. The Aggies tied it up at 16-16, but answered back with a 3-pointer from Haws with 13:20 left in the half. A Collinsworth steal led to an easy layup by Haws, which was followed by a three-point play by Mika at the 10:42 mark to lead 24-19.
Halford drove to the basket to extend the lead 27-22, followed by Bartley’s free throws to grab a seven-point lead. USU responded and took its first lead, 40-37, with 3:38 remaining. Carlino’s layup cut the deficit to one, but BYU ended the half down 44-39.
Haws led the team with 11 points, while Mika added nine points and five rebounds of his own. Collinsworth ended the half with four points, five rebounds and three assists.
Collinsworth started the second half with a block at the 18:51 mark, followed by a pair of free throws from Carlino and an alley-oop from Carlino to Mika for the dunk to cut BYU’s deficit to 44-43. With 17:34 remaining in the game, Mika made another layup to take a one-point lead. Consecutive layups in transition from Carlino and Halford put BYU up 58-55 with 11:07 left in the game and the Cougars didn't trail again.
Bartley recorded a block at the 9:28 mark and followed with a 3-pointer to extend the BYU lead to five at 66-61 with 8:21 left in the game. He then followed it up by drawing a charge, which led to a backdoor pass from Collinsworth to Carlino for a nine-point lead. With 4:49 remaining, Bartley capped an 11-2 BYU run with a drive down the lane for a slam dunk to extend the lead to 74-63 and BYU never looked back.
“These guys are fighters, and that second half, it came down to what I feel are two really good basketball teams just trying to figure out how to get a win," Rose said. "We made a couple more plays. I think Stew’s going to have a terrific year. He’s got a great team with good leadership and great experience. I like his bench and I really like his roster.”
The Cougars will return to the Marriott Center to play North Texas on Tuesday at 7 p.m. MST. The game will be televised live on BYUtv and broadcast on the Cougar IMG Sports Network on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM.