BYU basketball: Cougars doing part to bring excitement back to college basketball
STANFORD, Calif. — After last year’s college basketball season, which produced the lowest scoring average in more than 60 years, a lot of folks have been wringing their hands over the lack of scoring in the college game.
You can’t blame the BYU basketball team, which is doing its part this year to bring scoring and excitement back to the college game.
On Monday night in one of the first games in ESPN’s Tipoff Marathon, the Cougars showed off a dizzying display of offense in a 112-103 victory over Stanford that looked more like an NBA final score.
Six players scored in double figures as the Cougars shot 53.5 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from 3-point range in running past a Pac-12 school that has its top four scorers back from a 19-win team of a year ago.
Tyler Haws scored 29 points, while Matt Carlino added 26 for the Cougars’ dynamic guardline, while swingman Kyle Collinsworth added 14 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Also scoring in double figures were big men Eric Mika and Nate Austin with 12 points apiece and reserve guard Anson Winder with 10.
“I love it, that fits our style of play really well when a team wants to run,’’ said Haws. “We shared the ball really well, found the open guy, took good shots and were able to knock a bunch down. Everyone contributed.’’
Carlino said the Cougars’ gameplan was to run and try to break up the Cardinal defense, which began the game in a zone.
“That’s our style, what we’re going to continue doing and getting better at,’’ Carlino said. “We had a good gameplan going in. We came in expecting to win, so we just need to keep building on it.’’
The 112 points was the most the Cougars had scored since 1993 when they defeated Sacramento State, 128-78.
The Cardinal didn’t know what hit them afterwards.
“They’re one of the fastest teams in transition that we’ve faced in the last several years,’’ said Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins. “They really pushed the basketball on misses and makes. They really keep a lot of pressure on you with their offense, and they keep you on your heels that way.”
Dawkins was also impressed by BYU’s shooting and depth.
“I haven’t seen a team shoot like this often,'' he said. "They shot lights-out. I thought they had a lot of contributions, not just from Carlino and Haws. They got a lot of contributions from a lot of the other guys in the starting lineup and their bench, and so all of those kids were kind of firing on all cylinders, shooting the ball very well.''
The Cougars play again this weekend with a pair of home games against Mount St. Mary’s and Colorado Mesa as part of the Basketball Experience Hall of Fame Classic. After a home game against Iowa State the following Wednesday, the Cougars will play Texas and either DePaul or Wichita State in Kansas City in the Hall of Fame Classic.
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