BYU takes over 2nd place in WCC with win over USF

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Matt Carlino came off the bench for 11 points and nine assists to help the BYU men’s basketball team overcome a second-half deficit and win 68-63 against San Francisco on Saturday. The win puts BYU (17-9, 9-4 WCC) in sole possession of second place in the West Coast Conference standings with five games left to play.

"It's a great team win," BYU basketball coach Dave Rose said. "All wins are really good, but when your guys play so hard, and everything came really difficult tonight - there was nothing easy. It had a whole different feel to the game than the last couple of games in the Marriott Center where we scored the ball well."

Carlino's 11 points all came in the second half and also added three steals in the win. Kyle Collinsworth finished the game with 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals, while Nate Austin crashed the boards with a career-high 16 to go along with four points and a block.

"They play really hard and they're really confident, so the road doesn't phase them very much, said Carlino. "I think they play hard so they're not going to back down ever. If you make a run they're not going to just give up." 

Eric Mika finished with a second straight double-double, 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, with Tyler Haws adding 19 points.

The Cougars got off to a 9-6 start with Mika scoring five of those points in four minutes. San Francisco (15-10, 8-5 WCC) grabbed a short one-point lead until Collinsworth answered with a layup, a dunk and a three-point play to take the 16-12 lead with 11:40 left in the half.

Haws’ first field goal came at the 11:03 mark, which was followed by a Collinsworth 3-pointer to extend the lead 21-14. The Dons tied the game at 27 a piece with 2:12 remaining, but the Cougars responded back with an Austin block that led to a Haws bucket at the other end. With under a minute left, Haws completed a three-point play for a four-point lead to send it 32-29 at the break.

Collinsworth led all playersat the half with 13 points, while Austin added 10 rebounds. Mika contributed eight points and eight rebounds with BYU outrebounding USF 29-13.

USF got off to a 4-0 start to take the 33-32 lead with Collinsworth responding back with a fadeaway for the one-point lead. After the Dons extended their lead 37-34, Carlino connected on two from beyond the arc to tie it at 43-43 with 13:40 remaining. Carlino’s alley-oop from the inbound to Mika for the dunk and a Haws jumper cut BYU’s deficit to one at the 9:28 mark.

With under six minutes to play, Haws' trip to the charity stripe gave BYU the 57-55 lead since the 17:50 mark of the second half. Austin drew a charge and had a putback dunk at the other end that was followed with a Haws floater for the six-point lead.

Carlino connected on his third 3-pointer from an offensive rebound and assist from Collinsworth to push the lead 65-60 with 2:37 remaining. Mika’s bucket made it a seven-point game with Carlino’s free-throw ending the game for the five-point win.

The Cougars grabbed 20 offensive rebounds for 16 second-chance points and outrebounded the Dons 47-29.

BYU will hit the road to play Pacific on Thursday at 8 p.m. PST.

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