PROVO, Utah – Anson Winder scored a game-high 17 points to lead the BYU men’s basketball team over No. 25/22 Gonzaga in the Marriott Center on Thursday.
"It was a hard-fought, aggressive game with both teams attacking," BYU basketball coach Dave Rose said. "There were times when you could really tell that the players on both teams really wanted to win. Those are fun games to be involved with as a coach. You see guys putting it all out there for the team."
Winder went a perfect 10 of 10 from the free-throw line to go along with three rebounds in his first start since Nov. 16, 2013, against Colorado Mesa, while Eric Mika came off the bench to finish with 13 points, eight rebounds and a block.
Matt Carlino came up big with 15 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals off the bench. Tyler Haws contributed 12 points, five rebounds and three steals with Kyle Collinsworth adding eight points, five rebounds and five assists.
The Cougars (19-10, 11-5 WCC) got off to a 7-3 start, fueled by five points from Winder. Nate Austin registered a block that led to a Winder layup in transition and that was followed by a Winder 3-pointer at the 18:29 mark. Gonzaga (23-5, 13-2 WCC) took a two-point lead at 13-11, but Carlino answered with a 3-pointer with 14:14 to play to help the Cougars regain the lead. With the game tied at 15, BYU went on a 6-0 run with two buckets by Skyler Halford and a jumper by Haws.
Carlino connected on another 3-pointer, which was followed by a Mika layup for a 10-point lead (28-18) with 8:19 left in the first half. Josh Sharp recorded a block at the 7:10 mark that led to a Collinsworth baseline spin to the basket for a layup and a 30-21 lead. After the Bulldogs took a three-point lead with a 13-2 run, Haws connected from beyond the arc at the halftime buzzer to tie the score at 39-39.
BYU opened the half on a 6-0 run to push the lead 45-39 with 16:46 remaining. Winder’s layup and trip to the charity stripe kept BYU’s lead at six after Gonzaga had cut it to two. After Gonzaga again cut into the lead, Carlino followed up with a backdoor pass to Luke Worthington for his first points of the game and a five-point lead.
Gonzaga brought it back within two until Mika answered with a layup, and Carlino grabbed a steal for another score on the fastbreak with 7:43 left in the game. With 2:44 remaining, Carlino’s jumper at the end of the shot clock gave BYU its first field goal in more than four minutes and a 66-60 lead.
At the 2:19 mark, Gonzaga turned it over to give BYU possession, which led to a Carlino layup and an eight-point lead. With under one minute left, Carlino and Winder’s trips to the free-throw line sealed the game for the 73-65 victory.
BYU held the Bulldogs to a 33.3 shooting percentage in the second half and outrebounded them 41-32. The last time BYU beat Gonzaga was by an 83-73 tally at home on Feb. 2, 2012.
The Cougars stay home to host Portland for their final conference home game on Saturday 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.