SAN DIEGO — BYU was able to win easily in San Diego 82-63 with its frountcourt struggling for much of the night. Other positions picked up the slack, however, leading to some high marks at the Wing and point positions.
It was a very atypical effort from the Cougar frontcourt with both Noah Hartsock and Brandon Davies struggling to find their shot. The Toreros were focused on doubling the lowpost and it proved effective for most of the game.
Davies has been completely dominant during West Coast conference play, but finished with just 12 points on 3-9 shooting. The Cougar big-man did haul in 12 rebounds while providing a below average 6-10 effort from the foul line.
Hartsock struggled with his shot all night, finishing with seven points on 2-12 shooting from the field.
Both big men also struggled in defending Torero big-man Dennis Kramer, who had 11 points in the first half. They tightened up defensively during the second half, however.
Nate Austin contributed seven points and five rebounds off the bench, including a 3-point basket. Grade: C
Charles Abouo was the best player on the court for BYU during the first half, while Brock Zylstra may have been their best player during the second.
Abouo finished the night with 14 points, and a team-high seven assists. He was active on the defensive end and aggressive on the offensive end in what was one of his better efforts in a while.
Zylstra was quiet for much of the first half, but hit a 3-pointer late which seemed to set him up for his great second half effort. He did well in not forcing the action, finishiing with 17 points and 5-8 shooting from 3-point range.
Stephen Rogers hit his only shot, but had his night cut short due to an apparent knee injury. Grade: A
Matt Carlino quietly contributed 14 points and just two assists, doing most of his best work during the first half of play. The freshman has done well, here of late, in not forcing the action while running the offense effectively.
Craig Cusick sparked the Cougar run at the end of the first half with two 3-pointers. He was relatively quiet for the rest of the night, however, but did finish with eight points, hitting on all three of his shot attempts. Grade: B
The Cougars got off to a slow start, but took control at the end of the first half and were rarely challenged during the second half. Winning on the road in conference isn't easy, but BYU made it look so, cruising to an easy victory.
They showed great overall team strength in winning by 19 points despite the struggles of both Davies and Hartsock. Good teams have other players step up when their starters are struggling. Grade: B+