BYU dominates second half, wins against Longwood


The BYU men’s basketball team defeated the visiting Longwood Lancers, 92-60, Friday night in the Marriott Center in the Cougars’ opening game of the Chicago Invitational Tournament.

After leading the team with a career-high 25 points on Tuesday against BYU-Hawaii, BYU center Brandon Davies struggled on Friday versus Longwood. With Davies not playing well early, and Longwood staying within a few points of BYU, the Cougars needed other players to  give the team a much-needed spark. Three veteran players pulled through for the Cougars.

Charles Abouo ended the night with 19 points and 16 rebounds. Noah Hartsock continued his consistent play this season by adding 18 points, and Stephen Rogers came off the bench to score 17 points.

[media-credit name=”Chris Bunker” align=”alignright” width=”199″][/media-credit]
Photo by Chris Bunker BYU forward Noah Hartsock shoots between Antwan Carter, 4, and Jeff Havenstein of Longwood during Friday’s game at the Marriott Center. BYU defeated the Lancers 92-60.
With Davies struggling, the performance by Abouo greatly impressed coach Dave Rose.

“The 16 boards were very impressive and something we need from Charles,” Rose said. “Charles is a guy who has great athletic ability, and we’re playing him in a different role than he’s used to and tonight he really broke out and felt comfortable as a player in the role that we need him to perform in.”

Also playing a major factor in the game for the Cougars was freshman guard Anson Winder. Seeing his first major minutes of the season, Winder filled in at point guard, scoring eight points and dishing out five assists.

“The ball can bounce for anyone that night,” Winder said. “It can be a good night for anybody and it just happened to be a good game for me.”

Rose was also impressed at Winder’s performance and the difference his play, along with the night’s starting point guard, Craig Cusick, made in the team’s success.

“Both our point guards tonight, in 40 minutes, we didn’t have one turnover,” Rose said. “That’s a great sign. Six assists, no turnovers. I think our players will get confidence in that will be a big benefit for us.”

As the game started, the Cougars fell behind early after Longwood hit back-to-back 3-pointers, and Davies committed three early turnovers. As the game continued, the Lancers could not get the ball inside and were forced to continue shooting jump shots. Over the next few minutes, the Cougars clawed their way back into the game, then took a lead of their own behind a couple of 3-pointers from Hartsock and Winder.

Longwood bounced right back and once again began to connect on its jump shots, closing the Cougars’ lead to just one with 5:30 remaining in the half. The Cougars then extended their lead to 35-29 at the end of the half behind two more 3-pointers, from Rogers and Hartsock.

The Cougars came out of halftime and quickly extended their lead behind the play of Abouo, Rogers and a barrage of 3-pointers. Freshman guard DeMarcus Harrison also got in the action in the second half, hitting a couple 3-pointers of his own. The team went 15 of 26 for 3-pointers, with nine coming in the second half.

Only minutes into the half, BYU had a 20-point lead and continued to extend that lead as the game continued, ending with a 32-point victory.

Rose was pleased with the progress his team made against Longwood, as every player who received playing time scored.

“I think we took a lot of steps tonight,” he said. “We had a lot of players in the game that played well. We’re talking about a lot of new guys who haven’t played in a couple years and who have been involved with practice and game preparation. I was really pleased with the amount of players that played and their execution.”

The Cougars take the court again in their second game of the Chicago Invitational Tournament as they host Prairie View A&M on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center.

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