Provo • On the night before Thanksgiving, the BYU Cougars were thankful for a friendly home crowd, the return of their shooting touch and an opponent not ranked in the Top 25, or close to it.
After getting swept at last weekend's tournament in Brooklyn by a couple of national college basketball powers, the Cougars returned to the Marriott Center on Wednesday night and buried the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners 81-62 in front of a crowd of 16,465 to improve to 3-2.
The Roadrunners fell to 3-2.
"It feels great to get that losing taste out of your mouth," said BYU center Brandon Davies.
While still battling the foul trouble that has plagued the start of his senior season but not as extreme as back East Davies led BYU with 22 points and 10 rebounds in 26 minutes. Tyler Haws added 18 points and six boards and the Cougars shot 51.7 percent while holding their guests to 39.3 percent.
"I thought we did a lot of things really well tonight," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "For the most part, we competed really well."
If there was a disappointing aspect to Saturday's rebound game for BYU, it was that starting point guard Matt Carlino did not get back on track after his dismal showing in New York. Carlino was 1 for 8 from the field and finished with just two points and two assists while playing just 10 minutes.
Rose said he started Craig Cusick in the second half, instead of Carlino, partly because Carlino tweaked his ankle at the end of the first half and partly because the sophomore had another poor first half. Cusick made a case to be the starter from the get-go on Saturday with seven points on 3-for-3 shooting, along with five assists in 29 minutes.
"I thought [Cusick] was really steady," Rose said. "I thought he managed the game really well."
Davies picked up his second foul with 6:39 remaining in the first half and headed to the bench, but quickly made up for lost time early in the second half. He scored six quick points to increase BYU's 48-28 halftime lead, but got his third foul chasing a rebound shortly after his scoring run.
"I tried not to pick up stupid [fouls], but I still got some dumb ones," Davies said. "… But we were able to get their big guys into foul trouble, too."
With Davies on the bench, UTSA put together its best spurt of the game, a 7-0 run, to trim the deficit to 58-45.
But Josh Sharp made a big block out of the timeout, spurring a fast break that led to a Davies' dunk, and the Cougars regained the momentum. Sharp had a nice game with eight points and six rebounds.
Like Cusick, junior college transfer Agustin Ambrosino also shined off the bench near the midway point of the first half, assisting Ian Harward for an easy basket and making a pair of three-pointers.
"That was Agui's best six or seven minutes that he's played for us so far," Rose said.
All 11 of the Cougars who played in the first half scored, with Anson Winder the only BYU player in uniform who did not see first-half action.
Up next for BYU is a Saturday night game (7 p.m., BYUtv) at the Marriott Center against Cal State Northridge. Prep phenom Jabari Parker is expected to be in attendance as he takes his official campus visit to BYU this weekend.
R BYU rebounds from last weekend's losses in New York with a spirited win over visiting Texas-San Antonio.
• Brandon Davies stays out of foul trouble long enough to record a double-double, 22 points and 10 rebounds.
• All 11 Cougars who play in the first half score as the Cougars take a 48-28 lead at the break.
BYU 81, UTSA 62
SAN ANTONIO (3-2) • Wilkins 2-6 0-0 4, Hale III 4-8 3-4 13, Hill 5-17 1-2 12, Burrage 9-21 4-4 22, Sims 2-3 0-0 5, Price 0-0 0-0 0, Thomas 1-2 0-1 2, Hines 0-0 0-0 0, McGregor 1-3 2-2 4, Wood 0-1 0-0 0. Totals • 24-61 10-13 62.
BYU (3-2) • Davies 7-13 8-8 22, Haws 8-16 2-2 20, Carlino 1-8 0-0 2, Sharp 4-5 0-0 8, Zylstra 2-5 0-0 5, Delgado 1-3 0-0 2, Cusick 3-3 0-0 7, Ambrosino 2-2 0-0 6, Winder 0-0 1-2 1, Calvert 1-3 0-0 2, Austin 0-0 2-2 2, Harward 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 31-60 13-14 81.
Halftime • BYU 48-28. 3-Point Goals • Texas-San Antonio 4-15 (Hale III 2-4, Sims 1-2, Hill 1-4, Wood 0-1, Burrage 0-4), BYU 6-14 (Ambrosino 2-2, Haws 2-4, Cusick 1-1, Zylstra 1-3, Calvert 0-2, Carlino 0-2). Fouled Out • McGregor. Rebounds • Texas-San Antonio 21 (Hill 6), BYU 48 (Davies 10). Assists • Texas-San Antonio 10 (Hale III 4), BYU 19 (Cusick 4). Total Fouls • Texas-San Antonio 16, BYU 15. A • 16,475.