Don't look now, but this BYU basketball team just might make the NCAA Tournament after all. Yeah, it is early, but that streak of six-straight appearances in the Big Dance doesn't look as tenuous as it did a couple weeks ago.
The Cougars (14-4) have won six straight games, their RPI is 31 (realtimerpi.com) and that third scoring threat they've desperately needed seems to have emerged. His name is Matt Carlino.
How BYU is playing its best basketball of the season is the topic of this follow from the BYU-Santa Clara game in Monday's newspaper.
"It is a huge win for our group," guard Tyler Haws said of the 82-64 win over the Broncos. "I thought our guys came out and we punched them, and they punched us right back. It was that way the whole game, and we were finally able to stem the lead and finish it off. I am just really proud of our guys."
The Cougars started the game off well after slow starts the previous two games against San Francisco and Pepperdine. They saved their slow start for the first 6-7 minutes of the second half, when Kevin Foster caught fire and SCU erased a nine-point halftime deficit.
"We knew they were going to come out and we knew they were going to make a run. But you can't get down or get flustered. You just have to keep staying aggressive, and keep doing what you do. And we did that," Haws said.
"We came out in man [defense, in the second half], and [Foster] got going a little bit. We were just trying to make it tough. Foster is a great player, and he's going to make shots. We just needed to make it as tough as we can," Haws continued.
Of course, it was Haws' first trip to the Leavey Center, since he was on a mission last year when the Cougars played Santa Clara on the road.
"I loved it. I like this gym," he said after scoring 24 points. "There were a lot of BYU fans supporting us, and it is fun when you have that type of support. Just a fun atmosphere -- a fun day."
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