Revenge was sweet for the BYU Cougars in their second meeting with the Loyola Marymount Lions.
Junior guard Tyler Haws had a huge night for the Cougars, scoring 31 points on 9-19 shooting, leading the cougars to a 91-68 win over the Lions on Saturday night at the Marriott Center.
“We’re really putting an emphasis on the defensive side of the floor and getting deflections and playing with energy,” Haws said. “Sometimes teams try to lull us to sleep passing it around while we’re in our zone, but we stayed active.”
While Haws’ shooting has been consistent as of late, the same could not be said for junior guard Matt Carlino, who had been sent to the bench the previous two games. But he found his stride on Saturday, scoring 18 points on 6-12 shooting to go along with four assists in only 31 minutes.
“It’s nice when the first one goes, but I felt like we kind of needed that,” Carlino said. “We missed some open shots early and when I got in there I just wanted to knock it down.”
The first five minutes, the Cougars and Lions traded baskets, with junior forward Josh Sharp scoring six of the Cougars first 10 points, utilizing his large frame to score easily on the Lions. The Cougars head coach Dave Rose noticed the improvement with all his players.
“Great win for our guys,” Rose said. “More than anything, great energy. Hustle plays and rebounds; they were the difference in the game.”
With 12:24 to go in the first half, the Lions began to increase the lead with a small 5-0 run, capped off by a three pointer by Anthony Ireland, stretching the Lions lead to 20-14. Ireland’s shooting, along with a couple buckets from CJ Blackwell stretched the lead to 30-22 with 8:32 remaining in the first half.
The Cougars and Lions stayed close for the remainder of the first half, ending with a one point halftime lead for the Lions.
While the first half was tight, the Cougars owned the second half. Haws, Collinsworth and Carlino combined for 43 points in the second half alone, and stretched the lead to 82-65 with 2:45 remaining.
Anthony Ireland, the West Coast Conference second leading scorer next to Haws, led LMU with 17 points on 7-for-13 shooting and six assists. The only other Lion in double-figures was Blackwell, with 15.
With the win, the Cougars improved their record to 11-7 (3-2), and will go on the road for three straight away games starting on Jan. 16.
“You look at the next couple weeks and I think everybody knew how important these three wins at home were for us,” Rose said. “This is a tough stretch we have coming up here and we’re going to have to be really tough to keep it together. We just have to take them one at a time starting with San Francisco.”