Collinsworth has career night as BYU moves past LMU in emotional quarterfinal game

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LAS VEGAS — LMU knew BYU was quick, aggressive, agile and fronted by some of the best players in the WCC. What it did not know was that Kyle Collinsworth was coming for it.

In the WCC quarterfinal game against Loyola Marymount, BYU called the shots, winning the game with a final score of 85-74 without one single three-point shot.

Collinsworth was easily the star of the game, throwing up career highs of 23 total points and 16 rebounds, playing some of the most aggressive basketball in his career. The 6-6 sophomore guard has made a huge impression on players and coaches in the conference, dominating the league just shortly after returning from a mission in Russia.

Collinsworth’s performance for this game was well received.

Kyle Collinsworth runs in for a layup in Saturday's WCC tournament quarterfinal game against LMU. Photo by Elliott Miller.
Kyle Collinsworth runs in for a layup in Saturday’s WCC tournament quarterfinal game against LMU. (Photo by Elliott Miller)

“I think that (Kyle) Collinsworth is really good. They have a lot of good players, but that Collinsworth is a really special player,” said LMU head coach Max Good. “He is a multitalented player, and this kid can play basketball. He has a bright future in the NBA.”

Anson Winder played an explosive game offensively and defensively, placing 16 points on the board, making all of his eight free throws and forcing six turnovers. Going into its next game against USF, the team will have to play tough defensively, Winder most likely stepping up to guard USF’s Avry Holmes, a three-point sharpshooter who put up 19 points in the 69-60 win over San Diego.

“We always talk about having active hands, and Anson (Winder) did that. With six steals, we definitely fed off that energy, and his active hands led us to great transition on the offensive end,” Tyler Haws said.

Haws also had a presence on the floor, scoring 23 points and four out of his five free throws.

LMU’s level of play was close behind BYU, its top player Anthony Ireland ending his career with 19 points and nine of ten free throws. As Ireland exited the court for the last time with 21 seconds left in the second half, the entire arena stood roaring with applause, paying tribute to Ireland’s phenomenal career at LMU.

BYU players and staff had nothing less than good things to say about the LMU veteran.

“(Ireland) is just a terrific player. In the seven games that we played he’s a guy that has been a handful,” said head coach Dave Rose. “He plays with such confidence and makes the other four players on the floor better. It’s always really sad when a really good player leaves the game, but he has a real bright future in the game.”

From here BYU prepares to play USF as they get farther along in their move through the tournament.

“We matchup well (with USF), and they are a very talented team,” Haws said. “Every game with them was a battle this year, so we are going to put together a good game plan and get ready to go.”

USF is also preparing diligently for the upcoming game, top players Cole Dickerson and Holmes working on coming out strong and aggressive.

The Cougars will face the Dons after a short resting period on Monday in Las Vegas, time TBA.

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