PROVO – Four Cougars scored in double figures and the BYU men's basketball team assisted on 27 of their 29 field goals to roll on to a 81-56 victory over the San Francisco Dons Saturday at the Marriott Center.
"I thought we played really hard and together," head coach Dave Rose said. "We shared the ball really well. Defensively we were really good at times as far as keeping them on the perimeter not getting through our defense.”
Junior Brock Zylstra hit all eight of his field goal attempts, including a career best six threes, to lead the game with 22 points. Senior Noah Hartsock added 14 points and six rebounds, while both Brandon Davies and Matt Carlino added 12 points apiece.
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"Brock was really good tonight," Rose said. "One thing that I get excited about as a coach is when a player plays that well and teammates continue to find him and get him open looks. Our post guys have been so consistent that they're getting a lot of attention. If they get double-teamed it can really help us when our perimeter guys can knock it in."
The Cougars shot a season best percentage from three by hitting 12 of 19 attempts (63.2%) and finished 29 of 54 from the field. The BYU defense held USF to 19 of 58 shooting and 6 of 29 from beyond the arc.
Senior Charles Abouo led the team with a career-high seven assists while Davies added six to tie his career high.
Davies got the Cougars off to a fast start by nailing his first four shots from the field and scoring nine of the team’s first 13 points. After Davies cooled off, Zylstra took over and went on a personal 9-0 run with three consecutive treys.
Anson Winder and Matt Carlino continued the Zylstra-led run with a three and two-point jumper, respectively. The Dons broke the run at 14-0 but trailed the Cougars 27-8 with just under eight minutes left in the half.
BYU closed the half with more sharp shooting from deep, as Damarcus Harrison and Carlino each nailed a three in the final two minutes to give BYU a 42-20 halftime advantage. The Cougars shot 7 of 10 from three in the half and assisted on all 16 made field goals, while the Dons finished the half 0 of 14 from three-point range.
USF opened the second half with a 6-0 to narrow the deficit before Davies broke the run with a dunk at the 18:12 mark. Zylstra continued to hit shots throughout the second half and gave BYU a game high lead with a breakaway dunk that made the score 64-33 with 12:59 remaining.
The Dons went on a 7-0 run and held the Cougars scoreless for just over five minutes midway through the half before Hartsock hit a pair of free throws to end the Cougar scoring drought. Freshman Nate Austin added an exclamation point to the game with a huge two-handed put back dunk at the buzzer.
BYU will have a week off before taking on Santa Clara at the Marriott Center on Saturday, January 14. The game is slated for 6 p.m. MST and will be broadcast on ESPNU along with KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM.
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