Tyler Haws started the game with a hot hand Wednesday night, scoring 13 points in just four minutes to begin a blowout at the Marriott Center in the first game back after a tough loss. The Cougars defeated Prairie View A&M 100-52 in front of 15,000 fans.
Coming off a 105-95 loss to UMass Saturday, the Cougars were looking to strengthen defense in the game against the 2-7 Panthers. All in all, 27 of 35 baskets scored resulted from assists, proving they took the opportunity to practice passing and work on that aspect of their game.
“Tonight we had 40 minutes of pretty good execution on both ends of the floor. That’s a pretty good sign coming off a tough game on Saturday,” said coach Dave Rose.
Defense proved to be a strong focus of this game against the Southern Conference foe. The Panthers were only able to make 29 percent of attempted shots.
“We set a goal before the game, during shoot-a-round, that we were going to hold them to a certain amount of points, and I think we did that as a team,” junior Anson Winder. “We battled, and I think we guarded them the way we wanted to guard them.”
Four players scored in double figures, Haws and Kyle Collinsworth with 19 points each, Eric Mika with 15 points and Winder with 11.
Nate Austin dominated in the rebound battle, grabbing 11 of the team’s 44 boards.
“Every game going in it’s just a mindset that I’m going to get 10-plus rebounds every game; that is my goal. It’s what I can really do to help this team succeed,” Austin said.
BYU also showed strength beyond the arc with 71 percent success in the game, making 6 of 6 three-point shots in the second half.
The Panthers were aggressive from the start, registering 12 personal fouls in the first half. BYU got dinged up in the game, as Carlino, Austin and Haws all suffered minor injuries just three days away from the game against rival Utah on Saturday.
The Cougars now begin preparation to take on the Utes in Salt Lake City on Saturday. According to Austin, keeping up the strong defense and continuing to prepare the same way they do for every other game is their plan for the next few days of practice.
“They are a great team; they have a lot of confidence going into this game. They have lost just one game so far this year,” Austin said.
Catch the Cougars on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m., as they take on 8-1 Utes in the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.