Behind a balanced offensive attack and some clutch free-throw shooting, BYU escaped with a huge 73-65 victory over number-25 ranked Gonzaga on Thursday night. Dave Rose made some changes to the Cougars' starting lineup by inserting Anson Winder in place of Skyler Halford and Josh Sharp for Eric Mika. The moves paid dividends as Winder led the Cougars in scoring with 17 points. He was joined in double figures by Matt Carlino, Mika and Tyler Haws in the win.
The starting backcourt
Winder played fantastic on both ends of the floor. He scored 17 points on only four shots from the field while making all 10 of his free-throw attempts. Haws was blanketed all night long but still managed 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting. He also added five rebounds and four steals. Kyle Collinsworth didn't shoot great, but did hand out five assists. He also added eight points and five rebounds.
The starting frontcourt
The Cougars didn't get much out of their starting big men, with Mika coming off the bench. Josh Sharp got in early foul trouble and played spot minutes. He didn't attempt a shot on the night, but did gather three rebounds and blocked a shot. Nate Austin played solid on the defensive end while recording two points and two rebounds.
Mika attacked the rim from the minute he stepped on the floor and played solid defensively. He finished with 13 points and nine rebounds. Matt Carlino struggled a bit from the floor but made two huge baskets and 3-of-4 free-throws down the stretch to seal the win. He totaled 15 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals. Halford didn't see much time on the floor, but did score four points and grab three boards. Luke Worthington played well in 10 minutes of action against the big Gonzaga front line.
Dave Rose made all the right moves for the Cougars on Thursday night. Changing the starting lineup made a world of difference. He also went small at times to help match the Bulldogs, and it helped BYU to limit Kevin Pangos to just 13 points on 3-of-9 shooting.
The Cougars struggled from the free-throw line once again and had far too many turnovers, but Winder and Carlino stepped up big when it counted to give the Cougars win No. 19 and keep them in contention for an NCAA tournament berth.