|I'm sure Ty made this shot just for me on my birthday :)|
Despite a slow start, the Cougars didn't disappoint me in the end. Tyler Haws had 20 points, Brandon Davies had 12, and the Cougs got more than twice as many rebounds as the Lions, leading them to a easy 92-51 win. BYU football star Bronson Kaufusi even got his first chance to make contributions on the court (I'm planning to write another post about him soon).
On the contrary, Saturday night's game against San Francisco was just plain scary. BYU was behind almost the whole time and just couldn't seem to turn it around. It was very similar to the Utah game-- they had to gradually chip away at the Dons' lead until they finally took a 77-71 lead after a 3-pointer from Craig Cusick with less than 2 minutes left, but almost blew it with missed free-throws by (gasp!) Tyler and Matt. Thankfully, a few more made free throws from Craig and Matt in the very end sealed the deal.
With a few exceptions, the stars of these two games were completely different-- in San Francisco, Brock Zylstra finally found his shot and knocked down some 3s to keep the Cougars close. Ty really struggled in the first half, and Brandon fouled out of the game with only 6 points. Tyler missed three free-throws, including the front end of two one-and-ones (which is completely unheard of from him), but he did still manage to scrap together 22 points by the end.
The one similarity between these two games was the play of Matt Carlino and Josh Sharp. Matt was amazing-- if he can just develop more consistency and stop committing stupid turnovers, he will become a real force to be reckoned with. He scored 21 points against Loyola and 22 against San Francisco and played really well defensively, too. He also proved he is capable of making amazing passes that don't end up in the wrong guy's hands. Josh was a huge defensive force, especially against San Francisco, when it came down to the end. He was a rebounding machine! He also continues to throw down sick dunks and never ceases to amaze me when he does-- I still can't figure out how a super quiet, skinny guy like that can slam the ball through the hoop and get such an insanely high vertical leap to almost hit his head on the rim. He makes it look easy-- it's totally nuts!
I hope the Cougars can hold on and remain undefeated in conference play through this week-- next up, Pepperdine on Thursday and a tough road test at Santa Clara on Saturday.