Strong second half leads Cougars past Lions
“That was a great team win for our guys," BYU basketball coach Dave Rose said. "I think that everyone that came in tonight contributed. We had 26 points off the bench, but more than that, just so much energy from our guys. Especially in that second half with the deflections, steals and offensive rebounds, there were a lot of hustle plays that led to baskets for us.”
Haws finished with 31 points and four rebounds, while Collinsworth ended with a career-high 20 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and three blocks. Carlino came off the bench to finish with 18 points, four assists and two steals. Josh Sharp added a season-high 10 points with Nate Austin grabbing nine rebounds.
Sharp got off to a strong start scoring six of BYU’s first eight points of the game, while Haws scored the other two on a Collinsworth steal and outlet pass three minutes into the game. Haws also recorded a block at the 17:28 mark and Collinsworth collected an offensive rebound for the layup to tie it up at 10. With 12:09 remaining in the half, Collinsworth’s block led to a Carlino 3-pointer to cut LMU’s lead to 19-16.
After the Lions grabbed a 10-point lead at 30-20, the Cougars responded with a 13-3 run to tie it at 33 a piece. During the run, Carlino scored nine, which included a 3-pointer and a layup after splitting the defense with 5:25 left in the half. LMU regained a three-point lead with under two minutes remaining, but Collinsworth’s reverse layup cut BYU’s deficit to one to make it 38-37 at the half.
Carlino led all scorers at the half with 12 points, with Collinsworth adding eight points, four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals of his own.
The Lions extended their lead to five early in the second half, but were answered by a 10-0 BYU run that included two steals on consecutive possessions to lead to another Carlino 3-pointer and a Haws layup in transition with 17:21 remaining. The run helped the Cougars gain a 47-42 advantage, their first lead of the game since leading 8-7. A three-point play by Haws answered a short LMU spurt to give BYU a 52-48 lead.
LMU responded to take the 55-52 lead, but was followed by buckets by Anson Winder after a Carlino steal and Collinsworth at the 12:10 mark to push BYU back ahead by one. A backdoor pass to Sharp resulted in a 3-point play to end a 9-0 run and a 67-58 Cougar lead with 9:46 left in the game. With under four minutes to play, Haws’ trip to the charity stripe gave BYU a 19-point lead at 82-63.
BYU finished with a 50.9 shooting percentage and outrebounded the Lions 38-28. The Cougars also scored 23 points off LMU’s 16 turnovers.
“You look at the next couple weeks and I think everybody knew how important these three wins at home were for us," Rose said. "This is a tough stretch we have coming up here and we’re going to have to be really tough to keep it together. We just have to take them one at a time starting with San Francisco.”
The Cougars hit the road to play San Francisco on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 6 p.m. PST. The game will be televised on ESPNU and broadcast on the Cougar IMG Sports Network on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM.