PROVO Some people just have a hard time acting their age.
Provo Bulldog Kyle Collinsworth is one of them. Instead of behaving like the sophomore he is Thursday night, the 6-foot-4 guard did a senior imitation by drilling a leaning 10-foot jumper with four seconds remaining in overtime to knock off the visiting Spanish Fork Dons 47-45. But the game-winning shot wasn't all that Collinsworth did to help the Bulldogs win. Besides scoring a game-high 19 points, he also had two big steals in the fourth quarter and a huge block late in the game on a shot that would have given Spanish Fork the lead.
"He's a dandy player," Provo coach Craig Drury said. "He's an excellent shooter, a tough sophomore and he steps up and hits the game-winning shot for us."
As much as Collinsworth carried Provo's offense, Drury credited his team's second-half defense for giving the Bulldogs a chance to win. After a back-and-forth first quarter, in which the lead changed hands nine times, Spanish Fork pulled ahead and led for the entire second and third periods. But when the Bulldogs began to make it tougher for the Dons to get good looks, they slowly climbed back and finally caught Spanish Fork with four minutes left in the game.
"Scott Edwards, the job he did defensively, was the real reason we won," Drury said. "The things he did to help us win, there are no stats for."
When Matt Gardner hit two free throws for Spanish Fork with 2:17 left, the Dons led 42-40. They regained possession and were working off some time when Collinsworth tipped the ball loose into the hands of Adam Law, who then fed Collinsworth down court for the fast-break layup to tie the game with 1:05 on the clock. Collinsworth was fouled on the play but missed the free throw that would have given Provo the lead.
Spanish Fork's offense then worked for a decent driving layup on the baseline, but Juan Vergara's shot rattled out and Provo's Kyson Koop was fouled on the rebound. But Koop missed the front end of a one-and-one, which allowed Spanish Fork to get the final shot in regulation. However, Dallin Naulu's running jumper came off the glass too hard and a tip by Vergara also bounced long sending the game into overtime.
In the extra frame, Provo missed three straight free throws before finally taking a 43-42 lead with 1:39 remaining on a foul shot by Edwards. Two more free throws by C.J. Thornton put the Bulldogs up 45-42 with 43 seconds left. Twenty seconds later Spanish Fork's Zach Clayton knotted the game again when he rattled in a 3-pointer from the left wing.
Provo then ran the clock down to 13 seconds before calling time-out. Then, after seeing Spanish Fork was in a man defense, the Bulldogs called time-out again with 10 seconds left. Collinsworth took the ensuing inbounds pass near midcourt, dribbled right of the key, stopped on the wing and let the game-winning shot fly.However, the Dons still got an excellent chance to win. They inbounded the ball under Provo's hoop to Naulu with 3.5 ticks on the clock. He dribbled a couple times and then hit Matt Gardner, who had already made three treys in the game, wide open in the right corner. But Gardner's hurried three attempt at the buzzer came up short.
E-mail: [email protected]