Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
PROVO — The game was a bit closer than most expected throughout the first half, but the Cougars hit their stride in the second half, taking a 95-78 win over Santa Clara. Grades are in for every position group with how they fared.
Brandon Davies continued his dominance of the West Coast conference, scoring 23 points on 9-13 shooting, proving to be unguardable on the offensive end. The Broncos chose to single-cover the lowpost and Davies took full advantage, dominating the play from start to finish.
Noah Harsock quietly contributed 21 points on 8-11 shooting from the field. The frountcourt combo of Davies and Hartsock has proven to be one of BYU's better lowpost duos.
Nate Austin again provided effective minutes, providing a lot of hustle plays although accounting for just three points and seven rebounds.
The Cougar frontcourt was the headliner heading into the season and they're proving equal to their hype. Even without the services of injured Chris Collinsworth they're getting it done night in and night out. Grade: A
The Broncos chose not to double-team the lowpost, leading to a quiet night from the Cougar wings. They do deserve credit, as a group, in not forcing the action, recognizing the big advantage the team had on the lowpost.
Charles Abouo chipped in 13 points and three assists with Brock Zylstra adding seven points. Stephen Rogers saw 12 minutes off the bench and struggled to find his shot, finishing with just two points on 1-6 shooting.
The lack of good perimeter defense lowers their overall grade a bit although they did show improvement in the second half. Grade: B-
Matt Carlino had one of his best games of the year, scoring 21 points on 7-12 shooting while dishing out eight assists. The true freshman played within himself and under control from start fo finish which is what you want from the point position.
Craig Cusick didn't fill up the boxscore in his 19 minutes of play, but did provide some steady play. Cusick hit on his only shot attempt which was from 3-point range for three points.
Like the wings, the point's overall grade gets docked for bad perimeter defense during the first half. Grade: B+
The game was a lot closer in the first half, but BYU was rarely challenged in the second half — cruising to their expected easy victory. Coach Dave Rose can't be happy about how his team started defensively, but had to be happy with how they adjusted their defensive rotations in the second half.
It was hard to find many flaws on the offensive end, however, with the team scoring 95 points on 56.9 percent shooting from the field. Grade: B
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