BYU basketball: Cougars tighten defense in second half as team rolls past Colorado College
Provo • Coach Dave Rose went into BYU's exhibition opener on Saturday night hoping to learn a little bit more about his young basketball team, which includes seven newcomers and no seniors.
At halftime, he found out they are good listeners.
After hearing their coach tell them they needed to play a lot better defense, the Cougars put the clamps on Colorado College in the second half and rolled to a 94-59 win at the Marriott Center.
"I was pleased with how we shared the ball on offense, but I thought defensively we got lost, a lot," Rose said of the first half. Colorado College "is really good at executing their half court sets and running their offense. â¦ We gave them a lot of wide-open shots."
That all changed in the second 20 minutes. After shooting 50 percent from the field in the first half to stay within 10 at the break, 49-39, the Tigers scored just four points in the first 11 minutes of the second half.
The Cougars opened the second half with a 27-4 run and breezed in the final eight minutes.
"I thought we did a little better in the second half, defensively," said BYU guard Matt Carlino, who led the Cougars with 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting in just 21 minutes.
Tyler Haws added 14 points, while Kyle Collinsworth and Anson Winder had 13 apiece and freshman Luke Worthington chipped in 10. Collinsworth also grabbed 11 rebounds and had five assists.
Ryan Milne, a 5-9 guard, scored 23 points to lead Colorado College, a Division III school from Colorado Springs, Colo.
In a somewhat surprising move, Rose started a four-guard lineup of Carlino, Haws, Collinsworth and Winder. Freshman forward Eric Mika got the start inside, but picked up two fouls in the first half and a third foul early in the second half and had just six points and four rebounds in his long-awaited debut.
Freshmen Worthington and Frank Bartley were the first two players off the bench, but Worthington also got into some first-half foul trouble.
"Our post guys have got to do a better job without fouling on the inside," Rose said.
Next up for the Cougars is another exhibition game next Saturday against Alaska-Anchorage. The season-opener is Nov. 8 at home against Weber State.
Storylines BYU 94, Colorado College 59
R Matt Carlino leads the Cougars with 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting in Saturday's exhibition game.