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BYU men’s basketball defeated Midwestern State 91-74 in a preseason exhibition game Saturday night in the Marriott Center behind the play of their posts.
The Cougars outrebounded the Mustangs 59-39 and scored 54 points in the paint, with Brandon Davies recording 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Noah Hartsock recording 15 points and nine rebounds.
“We’ve got a really expeirenced front line,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “Those are the guys that feel the most comfortable out there now. Those guys will continue to play a lot of minutes.”
BYU started the game by opening up a 13-3 lead on Midwestern State and kept that margin for the majority of the the first half behind the scoring of Stephen Rogers. Rogers scored 11 of his 16 points in the first half. Guard/forward Charles Abouo also scored seven of his 14 points in the final two minutes of the half to help extend the Cougars’ lead to 14 as the teams entered the locker room.
The Cougars came out of the locker room hot, outscoring the Mustangs 20-7 to start the second half, extending their lead to 25. The lead was eventually extended to 26 with nine minutes remaining. Midwestern State cut the lead down to 13 but never came any closer as the game closed.
Midwestern State was plagued by fouls the entire night, with BYU spending the majority of the game in the double-bonus on free throws. The Cougars only hit 19-of-30 from the foul line, however.
Another worry for BYU was the number of turnovers in the game. BYU committed 20 turnovers, while only forcing Midwestern State into 13.
“We turned the ball over way too many times,” Rose said. “Kind of careless turnovers. We were rushing things. We just need to be a little more patient at times.”
BYU had four players score in double digits, while Chris Collinsworth had nine. That balance in scoring is one of the positives the team took from the game.
“I think that’s a big strength for us,” team captain and starting point guard Brock Zylstra said. “The difference between last year and this year … is that it could be any guy. It could be any guy out of six or seven guys and that’s going to be really hard for other teams to guard that and to game plan for that.”
The game also featured the return to the Marriott Center of former Cougar Michael Loyd Jr. Loyd, who played for BYU from 2007-2010, transferred in the summer of 2010 to Midwestern State where he now plays with his younger brother. Loyd was greeted with a warm reception from the BYU fans as he was introduced before the game. He finished the game with 13 points, including a four-point play.
BYU returns to the Marriot Center on Friday at 7 p.m. in an exhibition game against Dixie State.