When the BYU Cougars got into an offensive flow late while clamping down defensively on the other end, they were finally able to pull away from Wofford and advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament with second-round 74-66 victory.
It was a tough and scrappy win, which didn’t come easy or without challenges, but the numbers show how BYU won mainly with hustle.
Clearly, BYU heating up from a 34-percent first half to hit 12-of-26 shots in the second half and finish the game making 40 percent was a big factor in the win.
The job the Cougars did on the other end, however, was just as big of factor.
Whether the Cougars can take credit or not, the Terriers hit only 4-of-19 shots from 3-point range and one of those makes was an uncontested shot at the buzzer.
The Cougars also held Wofford to 36-percent shooting in the second half, and at one point the Terriers missed nine straight shots as the Cougars moved out to a late 14-point lead.
Jimmer Fredette finished with 32 points on 10-of-25 shooting and 10-of-12 from the line, but his eight assists played an equal factor in the win.
No one displayed better all-around numbers or was more effective in more critical areas than Kyle Collinsworth, who had 12 rebounds, four steals and three assists
Logan Magnusson's 10 points and six rebounds off the bench were also huge, allowing the Cougars fought through foul problems the entire game.
The Cougars, despite leading 33-29 at halftime, never played in rhythm in the opening 20 minutes. Actually, they took several ill-advised shots. The Terriers did a good job of speeding up BYU.
As a result, the Cougars shot 34 percent in the first half, while Wofford shot 41 percent in the opening 20 minutes. The Cougars were even colder from deep in the first half, hitting 1 of their first 9 shots from 3-point range and finished the half making only 4-of-15 shots from behind the arc.
At one point Fredette was 3-of-6 while the rest of the team was 3-of-15. Fredette continued to trust his teammates, however, and finished the first half with five assists on BYU's other seven baskets.
The Cougars led at the half for two main reasons: grabbing eight offensive rebounds and forcing Wofford into seven turnovers. The Cougars also had six steals at the break.1 comment on this story
Fouls were a big factor in the first 20 minutes. Charles Abouo (2 fouls) spent the final eight minutes on the bench. James Anderson picked up three first-half fouls, while Magnusson and Noah Hartsock collected two fouls each before intermission.
Abouo picked up two more fouls three minutes into the second half, which made BYU's thin team thinner. In fact, with nine minutes to go four Cougars had three fouls or more. Abouo was the only Cougar to foul out, and even his 10 points late in the game were critical.
The Cougars outrebounded Wofford 39-35 and had a 10-7 edge in offensive rebounds and a 9-4 advantage in steals.