PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Matt Carlino and Tyler Haws scored 21 and 20 points, respectively, to lead the BYU men’s basketball team to a 92-51 win over Loyola Marymount Thursday night in the West Coast Conference opener for both teams.
BYU (11-4, 1-0) shot 50 percent for the game and 43.5 percent from behind the arc in a contest where every player who dressed saw minutes on the floor and all but one scored.
Carlino led all scorers with a season-high 21 points on 7 of 15 shooting, including 4 of 8 from 3-point land. The sophomore also added five rebounds, five assists and four steals.
BYU had three other players just miss double-doubles. Haws had 20 points and nine rebounds while Brandon Davies added 12 points and nine boards, and Josh Sharp contributed seven points and 12 boards, including eight offensive rebounds — just one off the school record.
“I was really pleased with our performance tonight," said head coach Dave Rose. "We changed some things up as far as positions and added a few things that we thought would be good for league play. It got our guys into a mindset of what’s next and how important league play is. I thought our guys really responded to that. Our guys were really competitive.”
The Cougar defense limited LMU (7-7, 0-1) to just 30.8 percent shooting and held the WCC’s leading scorer, Anthony Ireland, to just nine points on 4 of 13 shooting.
BYU’s 41-point victory over the Lions is the program’s largest margin of victory over a conference opponent since joining the WCC.
After LMU took an early 3-0 lead, BYU answered with a 5-0 run before the Lions knocked down a jumper in a slow-moving start with baskets coming at a premium to tie the score at 5-5 with 15:06 to go in the first half.
Ashley Hamilton hit back-to-back threes during an LMU 8-0 run before Nate Austin ended it with an alley-oop dunk off an assist from Carlino.
The dunk sparked a 16-0 run by the Cougars as Carlino picked up two more on a scoop-and-score layup and followed it up with a three-pointer to take a 12-11 lead.
Haws added a 3-pointer on the next possession to give BYU a 15-11 advantage with just over 11 minutes to go until the break.
Haws drilled a 3-pointer again and Carlino drained two more treys to stretch BYU’s lead to 24-13. Carlino and Haws combined to knock down five threes in a row to build BYU’s lead with 7:24 left in the first half.
BYU was able to stretch its lead to 13 over the next four minutes before LMU cut it back to 10 with another 3-pointer from Hamilton, his third of the game, but the Cougars answered back with five more before halftime to take a 35-20 lead into the break.
After halftime BYU came out aggressive, pushing its lead to 46-22 in the opening five minutes. Carlino had two steals and another 3-point bucket as the Cougars outscored the Lions 11-2 out of the locker room.
Craig Cusick hit a 3-pointer to give BYU a 59-31 lead with 11:19 to play. Minutes later, Sharp got the crowd going with a one-handed dunk over a defender to make it 65-33.
BYU led 74-37 with over five minutes to go when the Cougars began to empty the bench to get valuable minutes for the reserves. Cusick picked up another trey and Agustin Ambrosino, Cory Calvert and Anson Winder all got on the board.
After completing his freshman season with the BYU football team, defensive end turned power forward Bronson Kaufusi checked into his first game as the newest member of the Cougar basketball team. Kaufusi recorded a steal and two points on a jumper in the final minutes of a 92-51 win for BYU.
Up next the Cougars head to San Francisco to take on the Dons in their first conference road game of the season at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday.