"I'm pretty excited about that win," BYU men's basketball coach Dave Rose said. "It was a great atmosphere. We had a really good crowd and at times it felt like we were right in the middle of January."
Haws finished with a double-double and game highs in points and rebounds with 28 and 13, respectively. His 13 rebounds were a career high. Carlino added 22 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals, while Kyle Collinsworth contributed a double-double of his own with 11 points and 10 rebounds, six assists, a block and a steal.
Freshman Eric Mika battled through foul trouble, but finished with seven points, five rebounds, two assists and three blocks. His three blocks are tied with Russell Larson for second most by a freshman in his BYU debut, with Shawn Bradley holding the record with five.
The Cougars’ defense held the Wildcats to a 39.4 shooting percentage and had the 46-40 rebounding edge. BYU kept the lead throughout the game with 40 points in the paint and outscored Weber State’s bench 11-0.
"I was pleased with our defensive effort," Rose said. "We played a little bit of zone and a majority of man and caused them to take some difficult shots. We kept them under 40 percent shooting, which is really hard to do in an NCAA game."
The Cougars got off to a 17-5 start that opened with two buckets by Carlino and a three-point play by Haws. With 14:25 remaining in the first half, Carlino lobbed it to Luke Worthington for an easy layup to make the score 13-3. A minute later, Collinsworth recorded his first block that led to an outlet pass from Haws to Anson Winder for an open layup. Winder finished with five points, one assist and one steal.
With 7:26 remaining in the half, a good defensive effort from Skyler Halford and Worthington led to a steal and an easy layup for Carlino to extend the lead to 30-16. Haws’ first 3-pointer of the game capped off a 9-0 run to lead 35-16. Mika got his first block of the season with 4:16 remaining. Winder made his first 3-pointer at the 4:30 mark, which was followed by Carlino’s 3-pointer to give BYU a 44-33 lead at the half.
Haws led the team with 14 points and 8 rebounds, while Carlino added 11 points and four assists of his own at the half.
Mika scored the first two points in the second half, followed by a chase-down block that led a Carlino three-point play on the break to push BYU's advantage to 49-40. A 15-1 run by BYU included a strong move to the basket by Collinsworth, and a Carlino jumper to cap the run at the 13-minute mark to extend the lead to 61-41.
Weber State went on an 8-0 run to cut the deficit 61-49, but was answered by a 6-0 run by the Cougars, which included a backdoor pass from Mika to Haws and a baseline jumper by Nate Austin. Austin finished with two points and eight rebounds. Haws scored six-straight points including a baseline dunk and a chance at a three-point play to extend the lead 75-61 with 5:02 remaining. Carlino capped another 6-0 run with a drive to the rim with 3:19 remaining. The Cougars held onto the 81-72 win despite a second 8-0 run by the Wildcats to end the game.
"We gathered the defensive rebounds and then took off," Rose said. "We didn't make the right play every time. We overdribbled at times and got to the rim and left a lot of points on the floor, but I really like the energy and the focus. The mental preparation coming out tonight was really good for a young group."
The Cougars will hit the road for the ESPN Tip-Off Marathon at Stanford on Monday at 8 p.m. PST. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 and broadcast on the Cougar IMG Sports Network on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM.