BYU struggles in home win against Colorado Mesa
Provo • Friday night, it was poor free-throw shooting. Saturday night, the Cougars couldn't make a 3-point shot.
Fortunately for coach Dave Rose's BYU basketball team, the opponents in a rare back-to-back stretch of games at the Marriott Center were not talented to do much about it, or take advantage of the absence of leading scorer Tyler Haws.
Despite going 1 of 21 from 3-point range, the Cougars crunched the Colorado Mesa Mavericks 84-60 on Saturday night, improving to 4-0 with the Big 12's Iowa State paying a visit this coming Wednesday.
"Well, it was a great week for our team," Rose said.
The Cougars played without Haws for the second-straight night. An MRI conducted Saturday morning showed Haws has a lower abdominal strain, as suspected. Rose said he doesn't know yet if Haws will play Wednesday against the Cyclones, which beat the Cougars 82-63 last year in Ames.
Without Haws, the Cougars used a balanced scoring attack to hold off the Mavericks, as Matt Carlino led six players in double figures with 16 points. Kyle Collinsworth added 15 points and six assists and made the Cougars' only 3-pointer before leaving the game in pain in the final minutes.
Collinsworth said he took an elbow to the hip.
"I feel good," he said. "I will be all right."
As for the awful 3-point shooting, the Cougars said it was a function of playing back-to-back and three games in a week, having knocked off Stanford 112-103 in Palo Alto on Monday.
"I think we played with some heavy legs tonight," Rose said.
At least BYU improved its free-throw shooting from the 60 percent performance in Friday's 108-76 win over Mount St. Mary's, going 31 of 43 from the stripe against the physical Mavericks. And they got a nice lift from their bench, as Skyler Halford added 12 points and freshman Frank Bartley IV chipped in 10.
"This weekend has been terrific for building our team," Rose said, alluding to Haws' injury.
BYU had just an 8-point lead at halftime, but roared out of the break with a 21-1 run to end any CMU hopes of an upset. The Mavericks missed their first eight shots in the second half before Landon Vermeer's 3-pointer ended the drought, but by then the Cougars had a 57-32 lead and were cruising. Vermeer finished with a game-high 23 points.
But the Cougars were too potent in the paint to be overtaken on this night, despite the 42 percent shooting from the field. They outscored the visitors 42-14 close to the basket, with freshman Eric Mika getting 11 points and Anson Winder 14 on a lot of drives to the hoop.
"It just showed we have a ton of scorers," Collinsworth said. "Scoring the basketball isn't going to be one of our problems."
O Six Cougars reach double figures in scoring in an 84-60 romp over Colorado Mesa
• Matt Carlino scores 16 points and Kyle Collinsworth adds 15 as BYU improves to 4-0
• The Cougars miss their first 17 3-point shots and are just 1 of 21 from beyond the arc