BYU basketball: Charles Abouo powers Cougars past overmatched Longwood
Cougars trounce Longwood, led by senior's 19 points.
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Provo • Turns out, BYU senior basketball star Charles Abouo doesn't put on his shorts just like everyone else.

But whatever works, right?

Having noticed that his basketball shorts were on backward just before tipoff Friday night, Abouo decided to leave them that way — even after halftime — then scored 19 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds as the Cougars walloped Longwood University 92-60 at the Marriott Center in front of 10,173 fans.

"I'm not going to do that again," Abouo promised, bashfully, but few would blame him if he did. He had another of those breakout games expected of him this season as the Cougars improved to 2-1 with a torrid 3-point shooting display and an overwhelming rebounding performance.

"The 16 boards were very impressive, and something we really need from Charles," said coach Dave Rose.

The coach said Thursday he wanted to see the Cougars become more comfortable just playing the game, and that's exactly what they did against the overmatched Lancers. Eight Cougars made 3-pointers, and BYU was 15 of 26 from 3-point range.

"I think we took a lot of steps forward" in getting more comfortable and finding an offensive rhythm, Rose said.

He might have also found a point guard.

Junior walk-on Craig Cusick started at that spot instead of Brock Zylstra — who started at shooting guard — and played turnover-free in 16 minutes. But it was the play of redshirt freshman Anson Winder at the point that had Rose smiling in his postgame news conference.

Winder scored eight points and dished out five assists while also playing turnover-free in 25 minutes after having recorded just two minutes combined against Utah State and BYU-Hawaii.

"I like how aggressive he is with the ball," Rose said. Point guard "is not a natural position for him, but a position he is comfortable playing."

It wasn't all balloons and butterflies for the Cougars, however. Longwood, which fell to 1-3, was competitive in the first half, and trailed just 22-21 about six minutes before halftime until Brandon Davies' dunk got the Cougars out of their funk. Davies battled foul trouble and had a quiet night with just two points and four rebounds.

But his teammates more than made up the slack, as Stephen Rogers came off the bench after starting the first two games and scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half. Noah Hartsock addded 18 points, and freshman Damarcus Harrison chipped in 11 in his best game to date as a Cougar.

"Coach is still trying out different things," said Winder, who played some point guard in high school but has generally been thought of as a two at BYU. "It definitely makes it a lot better when we are competing for minutes."

Antwan Carter led Longwood with 18 points, including 13 in the second half.

After having committed 42 turnovers combined in their first two games, the Cougars had just 10 Friday, a stat that pleased Rose as much as his team's 42-24 rebounding advantage or 57.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

"I like the parts of this team. I like the team," Rose said. "And I think we are coming together a little bit."

drew@sltrib.com

Twitter: @drewjay —

Highlights

R Charles Abouo scores 19 points and grabs 16 rebounds as the Cougars rout their visitors from Farmville, Va.

• Eight Cougars make 3-pointers and BYU goes 15 of 26 from beyond the arc.

• Stephen Rogers scores 14 of his 17 points in the second half. —

More photos

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