SALT LAKE CITY –The BYU men’s basketball team flew past the Oregon Ducks, 79-65 at Energy Solutions Arena behind a career day from forward Noah Hartsock on Saturday.
The Ducks had no answer for Hartsock who set a career high with 23 points and grabbed a season best 12 rebounds, recording his first double-double of the season and fourth of his career.
“I think that we had a few guys step up and really play at a high level for us and other guys maybe didn’t have their best game but we all played really hard together,” head coach Dave Rose said. “That’s a step forward for us and I’m really happy for the guys and I look forward to next game.”
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Three players scored in double figures with Hartsock leading the way with his 23 points and Stephen Rogers added 16 with Anson Winder chipping in 10 points. BYU finished the game shooting 39.4 percent and made 10 three-pointers. The Cougars tied a season-low with just 10 turnovers.
It was a game of streaks as the Cougars made several runs throughout the game that proved to be the demise of Oregon.
After a lackluster first minute of the second half, the Cougars caught fire. Guard Charles Abouo hit a quick three and Zylstra capped off a 14-0 run with a three-pointer of his own, pushing BYU’s lead to 51-33, prompting an Oregon timeout. The Ducks posed little threat throughout the rest of the half, cutting the lead to 14, but not being able to do further damage.
Oregon tried to add pressure with a full court press, but that did not fluster the Cougars. Point guard Anson Winder broke down the full court press flying right past the Ducks defense time after time. At one time Winder raced right by Oregon and dished to Brandon Davies who threw down an emphatic dunk.
While BYU cruised to an easy win, the Cougars struggled mightily in the opening minutes of the game.
Oregon started out red-hot jumping out to an 8-0 lead. The Cougars had several open shots but struggled to connect from anywhere on the floor.
The first points for BYU went to Davies who caught the ball in low and made a nice move to the bucket. After Stephen Rogers was fouled hitting a three from the corner, he put in the free throw to cap a 14-1 run, pushing BYU ahead 16-11.
The first half was a half of runs as the Cougars added two 8-0 runs after grabbing the lead at 12-11.
Reserve forward Nate Austin continued to be a contributor with nine points in the first half. Austin hit from everywhere on the court, up close, mid-range jumpers, and a deep three.
The Cougars return to action on Dec. 7 at the Marriott Center when they face in-state rival Weber State.