Cougars maul Lions in Provo, 92-51

Jumpin' Josh Sharp - Douglas C. Pizac-USA Today Sports

BYU beat Loyola Marymount by 41 points in their WCC opener.

It looked like it might be a tight game early on when LMU used an 8-0 run to go up 11-5. But BYU answered with a huge run of their own and never looked back. A 15 point Cougar lead at the half ballooned to a 41 point lead by the end. Not a lot went wrong for BYU and not a lot went right for LMU all night.

BYU only got 12 points from Brandon Davies in the blowout but Matt Carlino's 21 and Tyler Haws' 20 more than compensated for Davies scoring below his average.

Here are some random-ish observations about the team and this game:

  • BYU's newest addition, big man Bronson Kaufusi, came in during mop up time and looked good. As expected, he's a hulking figure on the court. But he's also clearly athletic and skilled. BYU will be better team with him on the roster.
  • Matt Carlino was on fire for BYU. He has a habit of breaking out with big games on occasion. What BYU really needs is for him to make these breakout games the norm, not the exception.
  • Brock Zylstra had a rough game. His confidence seems to be down lately.
  • Josh Sharp continue to use his impressive springs to grab rebounds and to ignite BYU crowds with monster dunks. He delivered 12 rebounds, 8 offensive, in the game.
  • Brandon Davies had a more quiet game than usual. Part of that might have been his sprained ankle but a lot of it was due to LMU's determination to slow him.
  • Tyler Haws continues to amaze with his skill and maturity levels on the court. He is on pace to be one of the all time greats at BYU.
  • Ambrosino played at the 3 spot tonight and looked good there. Rose had been using Zylstra as the backup to Haws at the 3 but with Ambrosino showing well tonight I could see Auggie finding a home there. With Kaufusi on the team Rose has more bodies in the low post anyway.
  • BYU shot an impressive 50% from the field and 43% from three on the evening. Not many teams will beat the Cougars when they shoot like that.
  • As impressive as the shooting performance was, the defensive performance was even better. BYU held LMU to just 51 points on 31% shooting and 28% from three. LMU contributed to that but BYU wasn't giving up a lot of uncontested looks either.
  • Perhaps the most impressive stat of the game is the rebounding disparity on the night. BYU grabbed 54 boards, LMU just 26.

Does this performance indicate that BYU basketball has finally found its groove? Hard to know. But if BYU defends and shoots like that on a consistent basis the Cougs will give Gonzaga a challenge in the WCC this year after all.

What say you, Cougar faithful?

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