BYU basketball report card: Cougs pulverize Mean Green in the second half and win easily

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 3 2013 11:37 p.m. MST

It is difficult to find big-picture meaning in games like BYU versus North Texas at the Marriott Center Tuesday night. Generally, these are no-win propositions for the favored team. If you win easily, well, that’s what you were supposed to do. If you lose or allow the other team to stay close, then it’s all doom and gloom.

For the first 20 minutes it was closer to the latter for BYU as it led North Texas by only seven at the break. The Mean Green played well, looking nearly like athletic equals to the Couagars. Ironically, this actually set BYU up with an opportunity to impress in the second half, and it did exactly that.

BYU came out of the break looking like the Mean Blue with a quick 7-0 run, capped by an Eric Mika alley-oop jam. North Texas trimmed the lead back down to eight with 14 minutes left, but from there BYU put its foot down, stretching the lead to 18 less than three minutes later, and pulling away for an emphatic 97-67 win.

The Cougs were led by their guards, as usual, with Tyler Haws, Kyle Collinsworth and Skyler Halford combining to hit 22-of-31 shots and Matt Carlino pulling down 10 rebounds and dishing out 11 assists. BYU finished with a staggering 60 rebounds in the game. To put that in perspective, going into the game the Cougs averaged 43.1 rebounds per game — 16th highest in the country.

Here are the grades for each BYU position group and other aspects of the game.

Nate Gagon is a published sports, music, and creative writer. He is also a wholehearted father, grateful husband and ardent student of life. He shoots roughly 94% from the free throw line and can be reached at: nategagon@hotmail.com or @nategagon.

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Idaho Falls, ID

The author is dogging on Carlino in this article, and as one who has been critical of Carlino, I would like to voice my disagreement. I really think this game was a step in the right direction for Matt. 10 rebounds and 11 assists! I think that is exactly what we need from him. He only started forcing shots when he knew he had a shot at a triple double. Everyone knows he is a streak shooter, but he is one of the very best BYU has seen in the transition/fast break game. He showed a lot of unselfishness in that game making many truly great passes. Other unsung attributes of his are his rebounding ability and steals. I love those 3 things about him. He can, and has, taken over a game for BYU. But when the shots aren't falling he would greatly benefit himself and the team by backing off creating shots for himself and focusing on his passing skills. We already know he is capable of scoring.. I this game showed he is capable of so much more. Way to go Matt!

On another subject, why isn't Sharp getting any minutes? The most improved player last year only to be riding the bench this year.

Serenity Now
Highland, UT

Agree completely with idablu. Carlino is very good and getting better this year. I don't care what his shooting percentage is in a run/gun game like this; he'll come back next time with 20 pts. And even his turnovers weren't awful given the uptempo pace both teams ran…he does so much for this team and takes too much criticism from fans.

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