BYU basketball: Cougars race past Santa Clara with big second half, again
Cougs goes on 21-6 run after halftime.
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Provo • Sporting a bandage above his right eye to cover a cut that would require stitches when he was done describing his latest heroics for BYU, point guard Matt Carlino said whenever the Cougars can score close to 100 points in a West Coast Conference basketball game, it is a good night for them.

And a good night for him, even if he's going to have a scar to match the one senior center Brandon Davies picked up in practice last Wednesday.

With Carlino scoring 28 points and Tyler Haws adding 24, the Cougars raced past Santa Clara 96-79 on Saturday night in front of 17,228 at the Marriott Center, keeping the red-hot Broncos below them in the WCC standings with the season sweep.

"The pace of the game was perfect for us," Carlino said.

It was OK for the Broncos (17-7, 5-4 WCC) in the first half, as the visitors matched the Cougars shot for shot. But the Cougars (18-6, 8-2 WCC) were able to maintain the breakneck pace in the second half, and Santa Clara simply couldn't keep up.

The result was another blowout win for BYU, after the Cougars handled Santa Clara 82-64 at its place three weeks ago in roughly the same fashion.

"I thought it was a great game," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "I thought both teams came out and were playing hard, and both teams were really effective offensively."

After scoring just 20 points in the first half against slowdown Pepperdine on Thursday, the Cougars led 47-46 at the break two days later.

Then the Cougars ramped up their defense out of the locker room, showed some superior conditioning, and turned a nail-biter into a laugher with a 21-6 run to open the second half.

"We just knew we had to set things up defensively," said Davies, who had his third-straight double-double, 16 points and 11 rebounds. "In the first half, we kind of gave up some things we were focusing on taking away. They hit a lot of threes, and they have some great shooters. … We emphasized [stopping them] a little more in the second half and were able to get stops."

After going 7 of 12 from 3-point range in the first half, Santa Clara was 2 of 12 in the second half from long range. The Cougars maintained their accurate shooting, bettering their 55.6 percent shooting in the first half with 60.6 percent in the second.

Santa Clara coach Kerry Keating said the "exact difference" in the game was points off turnovers, with BYU getting 17 to SCU's 11.

"We just got too deflated and off-kilter. … We just couldn't recover," Keating said.

While BYU's Big Three of Carlino, Haws and Davies combined to go 26 of 44 for 68 points, Josh Sharp carried the Cougars in the first half, although he didn't start for the first time in 12 games.

Sharp had 12 of his 14 points in the first half, and was again a terror on the offensive glass.

"Josh was terrific off the bench, my goodness," Rose said. "He gave us a huge lift in the first half. And it has been awhile since we have seen him offensive rebound like that, and that was good to see, good to see."

Kevin Foster led SCU with 18 points, but needed 18 shots to get there; Marc Trasolini added 15 and Evan Roquemore had 14.

Playing the four position, Brock Zylstra was solid with eight points and eight rebounds for BYU.

drew@slrib.com —

Storylines

O In Short • Another strong second half helps BYU race past Santa Clara 96-79 at the Marriott Center.

Key Stat • Santa Clara goes 7 for 12 from 3-point range in the first half but just 2 for 12 in the second half. —

BYU 96, Santa Clara 79

SANTA CLARA (17-7) • Roquemore 4-10 5-5 14, Trasolini 5-10 5-6 15, Foster 6-18 3-4 18, Cowels III 3-9 4-4 13, Atanga 1-3 0-3 2, Clark 4-9 2-3 11, Perricone 0-0 0-0 0, Johnson 0-0 2-2 2, Clarke 1-2 0-0 3, McArthur 0-0 0-0 0, Harrison 0-1 1-2 1, Garrett 0-1 0-0 0. Totals • 24-63 22-29 79.

BYU (18-6) • Davies 5-10 6-13 16, Haws 11-17 2-4 24, Carlino 10-17 5-5 28, Zylstra 3-4 1-2 8, Winder 0-0 0-0 0, Delgado 0-1 0-0 0, Cusick 1-1 0-0 3, Ambrosino 0-1 2-2 2, Sharp 5-7 4-4 14, Calvert 0-0 0-0 0, Austin 0-1 1-2 1, Harward 0-1 0-0 0, Kaufusi 0-0 0-0 0. Totals • 35-60 21-32 96.

Halftime—BYU 47-46. 3-Point Goals—Santa Clara 9-24 (Cowels III 3-8, Foster 3-9, Clarke 1-1, Clark 1-2, Roquemore 1-4), BYU 5-11 (Carlino 3-6, Cusick 1-1, Zylstra 1-1, Delgado 0-1, Haws 0-2). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Santa Clara 33 (Atanga 9), BYU 41 (Davies 11). Assists—Santa Clara 14 (Foster 9), BYU 19 (Carlino 6). Total Fouls—Santa Clara 23, BYU 20. A—17,228.