PROVO, Utah – The BYU men's basketball team rode a night of career highs to a 93-78 victory over the Buffalo Bulls at the Marriott Center on Tuesday night.
Junior Brock Zylstra scored a career-high 26 points and freshmen Anson Winder and Matt Carlino had career nights. Winder scored a career-high 20 points on 7 of 8 shooting, including six 3-pointers and 17 of his 20 coming in the first half. Carlino picked up his first career double-double in just his second collegiate game with 10 points and a career-best 11 assists. He also added career highs of seven rebounds and three steals.
It was the tale of two halfs for the Cougars who got strong performances from all over the floor in each half.
After a sluggish first few minutes, head coach Dave Rose subbed in Winder who caught fire. Winder hit 3s from everywhere on the court, bringing the crowd to its feet numerous as he drilled each of his five 3-point attempts of the half.
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“I give credit to our guys, especially those that didn’t start the game," Rose said. "They came off the bench and scored to get us back in the game."
In just his first five minutes on the floor Winder tied a career high of 11 points, finishing with 17 in the half on perfect 6 of 6 shooting.
"What I look at tonight is our team got better and we built confidence as we played," Rose said. "I think our game didn’t start the way we wanted but eventually we got it to the pace we wanted.”
The night belonged to Zylstra, however, who made shots at clutch moments when the Cougars needed it. The guard finished with a career-high 26 points on 9 of 16 shooting.
Buffalo came out hot, taking a 14-3 lead in the opening minutes.
Freshman Nate Austin brought instant energy with hustle plays, and Winder supported from the outside, hitting from all over the court. The BYU bench outscored the Buffalo bench 27-5 in the first half, pushing BYU’s halftime lead to 47-39
Out of the break the Cougars continued to roll. The crowd was brought to its feet as Davies swatted a reverse layup that Carlino took coast-to-coast for a bucket.
But the highlight of the night belonged to Abouo. Deep into the half the Marriott Center erupted as Abouo took the ball in deep and posterized Buffalo’s 6-foot-10 Mitchell Watts with an emphatic dunk right over the top of him as the Cougars cruised on to the 93-78 victory.
The Cougars return to the Marriott Center on Thursday, Dec. 22, when they play UC Santa Barbara. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST and the game will be televised live on BYUtv.