They say nobody has ever escaped alive from Alcatraz, the now defunct prison that sits on a big rock in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, just beyond the Golden Gate Bridge and gorgeous seaside town of Sausalito here in Northern California.
Somehow, BYU escaped San Francisco last night, however, winning 85-84 when guard Matt Carlino made a short, fadeaway jumper inside the paint with about 20 seconds left. The Dons got two good looks in the last 10 seconds, but neither shot would fall.
"It was a great college game. I thought our guys battled. San Francisco played really well, and I thought we played really well. It was just a really good college basketball game," BYU coach Dave Rose said.
"When a team shoots that many perimeter shots -- because [the Dons] are either a layup team or a 3-point shooting team, so they shot 32 3-pointers, so there are going to be a lot of long rebounds," Rose said. "And that was our challenge to our guards, was to be able to track those down. They have big, physical guys inside who were able to lock our guys up. And those guards are expected to track those down. That last play ... We were just lucky the clock ran out."
Of course, Matt Carlino scored a career-high 30 points. He made his first six shots and had 20 points in the first eight minutes of the game. It was Jimmer-esque.
BYU basketball SID Kyle Chilton points out that it was the first 30-point game for a Cougar since Jimmer Fredette scored 32 against Florida in the tournament last year. Chilton says Carlino became the fourth freshman in school history to score 30 or more points in a game, joining Danny Ainge, Mekeli Wesley and Mark Bigelow.
"I was scared [after making the go-ahead basket] because when teams take their first lead with seconds to go in the game, you usually lose," Carlino said. "They get a wide open second shot after the first one, usually they get back and beat you."
I posted a video of most of what Carlino had to say after the game. Here's more from coach Dave Rose:
On USF taking the lead and how BYU responded:
"The most important thing for us as a staff is we wanted to make sure we didn't get discouraged. When you have the lead for 39 minutes, 13 seconds, something like that ... but on our next possession, something happened, where we believed in ourselves, got a good look at the basket, we got a great look, but they made a good defensive play on Noah.
Then they missed a free throw, we got a rebound, Matt makes a fadeaway, and we were able to finish that thing off.
In the last minute, a lot of good things happened for our team, mentally. We had guys who were cramping up, we had guys in foul trouble, we had guys that had fouled out, but we found a way to win that game. That's good for our guys."
On Matt's game-winning play:
"Well, with this type of game, there is going to be space. They bring a second defender and trap, a lot. And what we wanted was for our guards to be really aggressive.
Near the end of the game, when we were trying to nurse a lead, we still had to play with that same mindset, because they will turn you over. That's what they do. And if you get stuck, they trap you and you get the ball out of the trap, and then they will trap you again, and you could be in trouble.
We continued to attack the basket. Charles missed a couple threes, but then made a huge drive to the basket, laid it up, and those are all plays we have to make on attack. And we kind of planned for it.
On not milking the clock at the end enough:
"The most important thing is guys have to know that those plays have got to be made. You got to get your head up and you got to get yourself the space where they have to make a commitment if you make a play with the ball. If they don't make a commitment to you, then you take the ball to the rim.
Like I said, the way these guys play, with that surprise trap attack, I was proud of our guys, because we stayed on attack and didn't turn the ball over. We got shots."
On how tough it is to avoid upsets:
"I think that this late in the season, games become so mental. You have to play well physically, you have to be sharp mentally. The team that has got the better edge, will kind of win games. Somehow, our guys tonight [did that]. It was just a really important game for us. Where we are at, we deserved, we earned the right for this game to be really important. And our guys responded really well."
On BYU's defensive rules being changed vs. USF:
"Defensively, we tried to keep them from driving, because that's what they do. They drive and kick, and hit shots. We wanted to keep them in front of us, we wanted to play a lot of zone, and we were fortunate because they missed some shots where they made really good offensive play."
On Matt Carlino's start:
"I think it was the way we prepared our guards. ... So I think that we challenged our guards. He hit two or three big shots. We've seen it in practice a lot. It was good to see it in a game."
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