MORAGA, Calif. — In front of a capacity crowd equally divided in its team loyalties, BYU trails St. Mary's, 53-43, at the half Thursday night. The Gaels used 7-of-13 shooting from 3-point range and hit 14-of-16 free throws to build their lead.

BYU hit just 2-of-3 from the charity stripe in the half.

The teams traded baskets for the first seven minutes of the game, which led to a 9-9 tie at the 13:48 mark. Noah Hartsock led the way for the Cougars with seven of the team’s first nine points.

BYU gained a little breathing room to lead 18-15 with 10 minutes left in the half before the Gaels came storming back to build a 30-23 just after the 7:30-minute mark of the half. Jorden Page, who knocked down consecutive 3-pointers, fueled the Gaels' 15-5 scoring run.

St. Mary's maintained a seven-point margin at 4:51 mark before two consecutive Charles Abouo baskets, including a 3-pointer, pulled the Cougars to within two points at 38-36.

From that point it was all St. Mary's. The Gaels used a 15-7 to end the half to capture all of the momentum at the break.

Freshman point guard Matt Carlino struggled with his game throughout the half, and was subsequently subbed-out on three different occasions by BYU coach Dave Rose. Carlino finished the half with two points on 1-of-7 shooting from the field.

Stephen Holt led the Gaels with 16 points and 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range, while Brandon Davies led BYU with 15 points.


Twitter: @BrandonCGurney