A little frustrated, BYU coach Dave Rose looked down his bench and summoned Frank Bartley IV.
Until that point, Utah State and BYU had been a slugfest, one that the Aggies were winning. Needing some energy, Bartley became the fourth guard in BYU's lineup and the freshman from Louisiana responded with the best half of his career at EnergySolutions Arena.
The Cougars turned the game into a track meet and pulled away for an 85-74 win over a previously unbeaten USU team. And while the usual suspects Tyler Haws, Matt Carlino and Kyle Collinsworth all did their parts, a win probably wouldn't have happened without Bartley.
"I was just trying to come in, provide some energy and play my role," the rookie said.
He did more than that, scoring 12 of his career-high 14 points in the second half. He added five rebounds and compacted all of that production in 20 minutes. Most importantly, his insertion into the lineup sped up the pace.
Rose went to a four-guard lineup, and the game took off. What had been a five-point Utah State halftime lead melted. BYU forced turnovers, got out on the fastbreak and scored layups. With the Cougars being 2-12 shooting 3-pointers, they ignored the perimeter and drove the lane. It resulted in easy shots and 27 trips to the free-throw line.
"I thought Utah State was grinding us a little bit," Rose said. "When they get into those sets, they can be so difficult to beat, and that's how they got a lead. I just thought we needed a little bit of energy and I thought Frank came in and did a great job."
The Cougars outscored USU 46-30 in the second half, and did much of that damage in the final 10 minutes when the Aggies seemed to tire. Haws one of the leading scorers in the country poured in a game-high 21 points. Carlino scored 18 points and grabbed four rebounds, while freshman sensation big man Eric Mika had 15 points and nine boards.
But sophomore guard Kyle Collinsworth made as big an impact as any on this game. The former Provo High star grabbed 13 rebounds, handed out eight assists and scored seven points. He played power forward in the small lineup and his ability to rebound and defend inside gave BYU staying power with the undersized team on the floor.
"He did so much for us," Rose said. "He played 38 minutes and he controlled things out there. He had two blocks, two steals and just one turnover. He was everywhere tonight."
Senior forward Spencer Butterfield scored a team-high 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Utah State. Senior center Jarred Shaw scored 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, but Preston Medlin went 3-for-12 from the field and the Aggies settled for jumpers down the stretch, leading to long rebounds and easy buckets for BYU.
"In the second half, BYU owned the game," Aggies coach Stew Morrill said. "Give them all the credit in the world. They were the aggressors, driving the ball to the basket. We couldn't get them stopped. They were more physical than us, they were just better than us. They just kind of manhandled us in the second half."
R BYU pulls away with a 16-5 run late in the second half.
• The Cougars improve to 6-2 on the season.
• Kyle Collinsworth grabs 13 rebounds, hands out eight assists and scores seven points.