BYU basketball report card: Cougs start and finish hot to get revenge on Pepperdine

Published: Friday, Jan. 10 2014 12:01 a.m. MST

BYU went on a 12-0 run in just under four minutes, led by Tyler Haws, to start its game Thursday against Pepperdine. The Cougars finished the game on a 22-12 run the final five minutes, led by Haws. During the 31 minutes in between, Pepperdine largely outplayed BYU. Those two big runs proved to be enough, however, as the Cougars pulled away for an 84-72 win, avenging their disappointing loss to the Waves 10 days ago.

Playing without injured big man Eric Mika, the guard trio of Haws, Kyle Collinsworth and Skyler Halford combined to take 83 percent of BYU’s shots from the field and score 68 of the Cougars’ 84 points. No question BYU was going to sink or swim with its backcourt Thursday night at the Marriott Center as coach Dave Rose distributed 72 percent of his 200 available minutes to his backcourt.

The bottom line is that the Cougars were less than impressive for 75 percent of the game but did enough to pull off a win they absolutely had to have. They didn’t necessarily build on the momentum generated by their blowout of San Diego, but they did enough not to lose it by playing good defense in spurts and knocking down shots in key stretches.

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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Central, UT

Wow, a WCC conference game that is a home game for BYU and the author mentions the Running Utes multiple times, what's up with that?

Taylorsville, UT

Good analysis of the game last night. However, while I may understand the need to mention Utah in the "Coaching" portion of the article, I'm not sure sure why the need to mention them in the "Crowd" portion. It seems like just a petty jab at the Utah fan base. While it is true there were more fans at this game (14,000+) than Utah had at their game against Oregon (13,426), the Marriott Center was still only at 69%, while the Huntsman Center was at 90%.

Y Grad / Y Dad
Richland, WA

Hey, that's 4 times as many as were attending Utah games just two years ago.

Chill out, kids. Comparisons aren't always intended as a jab, and if this one was, it was poorly aimed. Utah basketball is moving in the right direction. Enjoy it!

Plano, TX

My advice to BYU and Utah fans is the same I gave divorced couples; other than being polite when you meet, forget about each other and move on in your own respective lives.

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