College basketball: BYU bench plays large role in historic run
Provo » Brigham Young proved once again that it takes more than the starting five to be great, as exampled by Saturday's 44-point beating of Colorado State.
Those first off the bench have thrived during the No. 18-ranked Cougars' 18-1 start, including an ongoing 13-game winning streak.
"We feel like we are a deep team," BYU guard Jimmer Fredette said. "It will help us later on in the season."
Of BYU's 91 point total, 43 came from the bench. They weren't garbage points, either. The Cougars' fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth men were on the court when CSU was held without a field goal in the final eight minutes of the first half.
Jonathan Tavernari led the way with 14 points, but Charles Abouo tied a career high with 8 rebounds to go with 10 points.
With BYU owning a 21-20 lead, Brandon Davies, in for center Chris Miles, connected on a free throw began a 12-0 run. Fredette added a hoop, then Tavernari swished a three, Lamont Morgan and Charles Abouo added a pair of baskets before CSU managed to convert a foul shot.
"I've been really pleased with the way this team has stuck together," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "These guys have great chemistry and it shows on the floor."
So far, the players are not talking about putting up the best start in school history. At least that's what they're saying. The focus is on a fourth Mountain West Conference title banner.
"One game at a time," said Fredette, acknowledging the cliché and looking at Wyoming coming to Provo on Wednesday. "Hopefully we get to 19-1 and then we can do something special."
That would be at San Diego State on Saturday and New Mexico the following Wednesday.