BYU picked up its first West Coast Conference road win by beating Loyola Marymount, 73-65, Thursday night.
BYU appeared poised to cruise to an easy victory before the Lions made a late push, causing the Cougars to sweat it out a bit more than they probably should have.
Noah Hartsock was way too quiet in the first half, only attempting two shots. Only a little of the Cougar offense ran through their most consistent offensive weapon in the first 20 minutes. He woke up in the second half, however, finishing with 21 points (17 in the second half) and seven rebounds.
Brandon Davies faced a bevy of double-teams throughout the night, and as a result, was more quiet than he has been in recent games. He finished with an effective effort with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Nate Austin provided solid play off the bench and finished with eight points and six rebounds in 15 minutes of play. GRADE: B+
Charles Abouo struggled with his shot, hitting only 3-of-13 attempts for seven points. He settled for jump shots most of the night and was unable to effectively slash to the basket.
Brock Zylstra, who failed to score, provided some of the quietest 29 minutes of work that fans will see from a starting player. He finished with just one shot attempt.
Stephen Rogers played limited minutes in his return from injury and was unable to connect on any of his three shots. He finished with just two points on two free throws.
Anson Winder was quiet throughout the night, but contributed some very big free throws late in the game with the Lions were making a furious run. GRADE: C-
Matt Carlino struggled with his shot throughout the game, finishing the night at 2-of-9 shooting and just nine points. He let it fly during the first half from deep, but went just 1-of-7 shooting from the arc at the break.
Craig Cusick, meanwhile, provided very good and steady play for much of the second half, guiding BYU to a lead and then cruising to victory. He finished the game with nine points, which included 3-of-3 shooting from 3-point range. GRADE: C+
BYU struggled early, but came on strong to finish off the Lions for its first-ever WCC road win. While BYU was clearly the better team, winning on the road in conference play is rarely an easy task.
The Cougars appeared poised to walk away with an easy victory until the Lions provided some late pressure, which gave the Cougars fits and a slim two-point lead with just under a minute left. They were able to hang on, however, in a game that was much closer than it probably should have been. GRADE: B-