College men's basketball: BYU shakes off slow start to beat Buffalo
Provo • For the first five minutes of Tuesday night's game, the BYU Cougars acted and looked like they were still playing Baylor. Their heads and hearts just weren't in it against unsung Buffalo after Saturday's excruciating loss to the No. 6-ranked Bears.
Then coach Dave Rose let his team know about it during a couple of early timeouts, including the media break at the four-minute mark when Rose told his team Buffalo was on pace to score 160 points.
Apparently, Anson Winder and Brock Zylstra were the best listeners.
Winder was 5-for-5 from 3-point range in the first half en route to a career-high 20 points, and Zylstra added a career-high 26 points as the Cougars crawled out of their lethargy and eventually buried the visiting Bulls 93-78 in front of a holiday-break crowd of 9,632 at the Marriott Center.
"He was pretty angry," Winder said of Rose's timeout tirades.
Added Zylstra: "It was needed for us to get yelled at a little bit."
Trailing 18-10 with less than five minutes gone in the game, the Cougars (9-3) got their act together to outscore 6-3 Buffalo 37-21 the remaining 15 minutes of the first half, then cruised in the second half to win by a comfortable margin.
"Words of encouragement, mainly," Rose said of his timeout talks. "The things that happened, they were all scouting-report issues, all things we had covered yesterday and today. I understand guys making plays, OK? Good tough plays. But when we make mistakes with our scouting report on the first two or three possessions, then I think maybe they need to be corrected."
And that they were.
After making 10 of their first 12 shots, the Bulls cooled off considerably, and finished shooting "only" 52.8 percent. BYU shot 53.1 percent, after making only one of its first seven shots.
"Give credit to our guys, especially the guys that didn't start the game," Rose said. "Those bench guys came in and gave us a great lift. Anson got the score right back to where it was manageable for us, hitting threes."
Making his first career start, Matt Carlino was once again masterful one minute, mistake-prone the next. He almost had a triple double 11 assists, 10 points and seven rebounds but also committed five turnovers and was just 3 of 9 from the field.
Held scoreless in the first half while playing just five minutes due to foul trouble, Noah Hartsock finished with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Nate Austin came off the bench to grab eight rebounds and score seven points, but suffered an elbow injury with less than a minute remaining while defending an alley-oop pass near the rim.
Rose said the elbow wasn't dislocated, but more will be known about the injury on Wednesday as the Cougars begin preparing for Thursday's home game against UC Santa Barbara.
R Brock Zylstra (26) and Anson Winder (20) record career highs in scoring as the Cougars rebound from Saturday's loss by routing the Bulls.
• Matt Carlino gets his first start for BYU and flirts with a triple-double with 11 assists, 10 points and seven rebounds.