Men’s basketball to Play Santa Clara Saturday at Marriott Center

183

The BYU men’s basketball team looks to continue its sharp shooting and consistent play as it takes on the University of Santa Clara Broncos on Saturday in the Marriott Center.

The Cougars have won their last three games by an average margin of 23 points, including a lights-out shooting performance against the University of San Francisco on Jan. 7 where they shot 54 percent from the floor and 63 percent from 3-point range.

“Guys are stepping up every game,” freshman guard Matt Carlino said. “Everyone is getting really good production. We’re young as a team, and we’re just getting to play with each other as a team, and it’s been really good.”

Four Cougars are averaging double-figure points this season, and others are capable of having big nights as well. Senior forward Noah Hartsock leads the Cougars with 17.1 points per game, while junior Brandon Davies adds 12.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, giving the team a formidable inside game. Carlino averages 13.9 points and senior Charles Abouo contributes 11.1 per game.

“This is a hard-working group and we get more confidence every week,” BYU coach Dave Rose said. “I’m really pleased with our returning experience guys, playing as consistent as they have, giving more confidence to our younger players. We’ve found ways to win and found guys to step up every night.”

Several other Cougars have had equally big nights for BYU, as Cougar fans witnessed a perfect 8-for-8 shooting performance by junior guard Brock Zylstra on Saturday against San Francisco in which he had a game-high 22 points. Junior guard Craig Cusick has been hot from three as well, going 6-for-7 in conference games this year.

“Anybody on the court can make shots, so we’re willing to give the ball up to everyone,” Zylstra said. “We’ve all had to adjust to play different roles and positions. I think it’s a credit to our players and our team that they’ll play any role Coach feels will best help the team.”

The Santa Clara team features two guards who are able to move the ball around well and make baskets. Junior Kevin Foster leads the Broncos with 17.5 points per game, while sophomore Evan Roquemore averages 14.1 points and 5.9 assists per game.

“They have great guards,” Zylstra said. “That’s what their whole scoring effort is on. We have to make sure we get to them, and run them off that 3-point line, because they’re great shooters.

The Broncos have lost their last three games, including the first two conference games of the season, and square off against the University of San Diego tonight before they meet the Cougars on Saturday.

Santa Clara has shot 41 percent from the floor this season, while the Cougars have held their opponents to 38.9 percent shooting, and just 31.3 percent from beyond the arc.

“Their guards are a special group of people,” BYU coach Dave Rose said. “Guys that can beat you off the dribble. This is one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country, so our challenge will be running them off the 3 and trying to contest shots.”

The game will tip off at 6 pm at the Marriott Center.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email