It was huge for us because it was a sloppy game, with a lot of people in foul trouble. It was tough to get into a rhythm for us. But for us to be able to make big plays down the stretch was huge. —Kyle Collinsworth, on his late 3-pointer
But the sophomore guard made one of the biggest shots of his Cougar career.
Collinsworth’s 3-pointer with 1:28 remaining, as the shot clock was winding down, helped lift BYU to a 78-70 win over San Diego.
“It was huge for us because it was a sloppy game, with a lot of people in foul trouble,” said Collinsworth, a 37 percent 3-point shooter on the season. “It was tough to get into a rhythm for us. But for us to be able to make big plays down the stretch was huge.”
Going into the game, Collinsworth had made only 7 of 19 3-pointers on the season, including just two in conference play. One of his previous 3s came against USD.
Moments before Collinsworth’s heroics, Torero guard Christopher Anderson nailed one of his six 3-pointers. At that point, the Cougars were nursing a 67-65 lead with less than two minutes left in the game.
“We called a ball screen for Matt (Carlino), which is pretty predictable. It’s kind of what we do,” said BYU coach Dave Rose. “They attacked that really hard. Matt got the ball to Kyle. I just believe that players make plays, and that was a huge play. I have all the confidence in the world in those guys out there.”
Forward Nate Austin set the screen that freed up Collinsworth.
“It was a big shot. Kyle’s a big-time shooter,” Austin said. “I don’t think he gets enough credit for how good a shooter he is. As soon as it left his hand, it looked good and it went down. Huge, huge shot for us.”
“I saw there was about five seconds (on the shot clock),” Collinsworth said. “I’m comfortable shooting 3s. I just don’t shoot (3-pointers) a lot. I shot my shot and it went in. It was big for our team.”
Collinsworth finished with 10 points and spent a lot of time on the bench with fouls.
“He didn’t have his best game up until that point,” said guard Tyler Haws, "so to stay locked in mentally shows how tough he is.”
TAKEDOWN: Austin was part of a five-point play for the Cougars midway through the second half.
As Carlino buried a 3-pointer, Austin was thrown to the floor under the basket by USD’s Simi Fajemisin.
“I went in for the rebound and Simi drills me,” Austin recalled. “He’s a big dude. I fell back. Luckily, the refs saw that one and gave us the call. I was surprised how hard he hit me.”
Austin made both of his free throws, which gave BYU a 52-50 lead.
MOVING UP THE CHARTS: After scoring 25 points at San Diego, Haws now has 1,855 career points, passing Fred Roberts (1,841) for No. 6 all time at BYU.
NOTES: Former BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who is training in Southern California and preparing for the upcoming NFL draft, attended Saturday’s game. Anson Winder missed a free throw in first half, snapping a streak of 16 consecutive made free throws.