Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Courtesy photo) After an early-season benching, point guard Matt Carlino has become BYU's 3rd scorer.
BYU basketball: Cougars feeling good about selves after winning weekend
BYU basketball » Late-season surge makes game fun again for coach Rose’s team.
First Published Feb 23 2014 04:09 pm • Last Updated Feb 25 2014 04:37 pm

Provo • They’ve exorcised some road demons, found a way to win basketball games when Tyler Haws isn’t making shots, defeated the best team in the league and discovered some depth along the way that can only help them in March.

Suffice it to say, the BYU Cougars are feeling pretty good about themselves right now, that awful start to the West Coast Conference season in late December when they lost at Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine a distant memory.

At a glance

BYU at San Diego

Saturday, 2 p.m., MST, TV » ROOT

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"I feel like we’ve grown a lot," junior guard Matt Carlino said Saturday night after the Cougars kept their grip on second place in the WCC and kept their hopes alive for a piece of the league title with an 89-72 win over Portland in front of 17,842 at the Marriott Center. "Like I said, I feel like we are having the most fun at this point in the year, which is really important because, I mean, sometimes it feels like a grind this late in the year. But for us, I feel like we are really clicking, having a lot of fun, playing together, so that’s really important."

The Cougars (12-5, 20-10) even have a bit of time to savor their three-game winning streak, because they have a midweek bye and don’t play again until Saturday, a 2 p.m. MST regular-season finale at San Diego (7-10, 16-14). The Toreros knocked off Gonzaga 69-66 at home on Saturday night, which was a mixed blessing for BYU.

It means BYU can still get a piece of the championship if it beats San Diego and the Zags lose at Pacific and Saint Mary’s this week. But it also means Thursday’s 73-65 win against a nationally respected program takes a hit.

And so much for the notion that San Diego will be an easy game, after the Cougars walloped the Toreros by 34 points, 87-53, in Provo in early January. San Diego got 33 free throws at home Saturday night, while No. 25 Gonzaga got just 11 and lost despite shooting 50 percent from the field.

"So we will take this momentum, and hopefully it will help us at San Diego," Rose said Saturday. "It was a tough road trip for us last year down there [a 74-68 loss]. Hopefully we can go down there and play well."

Rose said the Cougars will take the first few days this week to work on themselves, study tape of their recent wins over Saint Mary’s, Gonzaga and Portland to provide positive reinforcement, and analyze what they can do better moving forward. They also hope Kyle Collinsworth [knee bruise] and Luke Worthington [separated shoulder] will get healthier.

"A Thursday bye should help us, as far as our bodies and how we feel. But this game on Saturday against San Diego will be a battle," Rose said. "We have played these guys four or five times in the last couple of years, and they were all battles."

drew@sltrib.com


story continues below
story continues below

Twitter: @drewjay



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.