The Matadors of Cal State Northridge are no pushovers. They came in to Provo with an undefeated record and plenty of talent. For much of the first half the Matadors held a small lead. It took a monster game by Tyler Haws along with runs from BYU near the end of both halves to finally allow the Cougars to fend off the Matadors.
Part of the reason BYU had trouble pulling ahead was the boys in blue were ice cold from beyond the arc. The Cougars started the game shooting a paltry 1 for 10 from three. But in the second half, threes started falling for BYU and those shots were instrumental in BYU's win.
Unsurprisingly it was BYU's most reliable player, Tyler Haws, who started hitting threes for BYU first en route to 32 points on the night. Fellow BYU star Brandon Davies chipped in with 12 points and 8 rebounds, and emerging third scoring option Brock Zylstra contributed 14 points, including two late three pointers for BYU. The Cougars managed the victory despite shooting a unimpressive 31% on 5-16 from three on the evening. In the end, BYU was able to use solid defense and fast breaks to pull ahead for good.
The crowd at the Marriott Center was unusually large for a Thanksgiving weekend due to the official visit of uber-recruit Jabari Parker. With CSU-N pulling ahead by one point with 3:30 left in the game, the crowd was whipped into a frenzy as Tyler Haws led BYU to the lead for good. Between the nice showing on the court, the huge and raucous crowd, and the 6,300 t-shirts pleading with Parker to choose BYU, the folks in Provo surely made an impression on the Parker family. With any luck it will be enough to get Parker in BYU blue next season.
In any case, this win over an undefeated and talented team was a good one for BYU. The Cougars have moved to 4-2 on the season.