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Associated Press
San Francisco's Avery Johnson, left, and BYU's Matt Carlino gesture toward the referees during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in San Francisco, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/George Nikitin)

SAN FRANCISCO — BYU guard Matt Carlino poured in a career-high 30 points, including the game-winner with 18.9 seconds remaining, to lead the Cougars to a thrilling 85-84 victory over San Francisco at War Memorial Gym Thursday night.

BYU squandered an eight-point lead with 3:45 remaining, as the Dons fought back all night long.

The Cougars led the entire game until Rashad Green put USF up for the first time, 84-83 with 40 seconds left. Then Carlino hit a floater with under 20 seconds left to put BYU ahead, 85-84.

Green and Angelo Caloiaro each a chance to win the game for USF with under 10 seconds remaining, but both shots missed the mark.

Halftime Quick Take

SAN FRANCISCO — As expected, BYU has a donnybrook on its hands against the San Francisco Dons.

Led by guard Matt Carlino, who has already tied his career-high 22 points, the Cougars are holding a 49-44 halftime lead against San Francisco at War Memorial Gym.

Carlino has knocked down four 3-pointers — all of which came in the first six minutes of the game. For the half, he's hit 9-of-12 field goals to go along with two assists and three steals.

BYU hit eight of its first nine shots, including eight in a row, and took an early 18-9 advantage.

But the Dons are not letting the Cougars run away with it in this fast-paced contest. USF scored the final five points of the half.