The game Cougar fans have been waiting for finally happened on Saturday evening. BYU finally started making three pointers, thanks mostly to Charles Abouo, as the Cougars cruised to an 86-48 win in West Coast Conference play.
After going 17-101 from three over the last six games -- which averages to be about 3-17 per game (2.83 makes per game, to be exact) -- BYU matched that output in the first 3:20 of the game thanks to Abouo and Anson Winder. The fast start from the Cougars was contrasted by a terrible start from Pepperdine, as BYU was up 30-7 midway through the first half.
Abouo played probably his best game of the season, scoring 23 points in 27 minutes on 7-11 shooting (5-8 3PT), pulled down 12 rebounds, had two assists and two steals, and committed zero turnovers.
The final score doesn't really even tell the story, as BYU led 80-35 with 6:30 left in the game. It was an absolute blowout in every way, as the Waves shot 33% from the field (including 2-16 from 3PT), and also made just 4-11 from the free-throw line.
The Cougars played without the services of new sixth man Brock Zylstra, who sat out with an ankle injury. Sitting out the game will have given Brockzylla a full two weeks out of action, so hopefully he'll be back in action soon.
WHAT I LIKED
1. Charles Abouo. As a senior, his season has been rather underwhelming so far, especially in conference play. Hopefully his performance is a sign of things to come down the stretch.
2. Not all Noah. After BYU rode the balding big man through the rough shooting stretch, Noah Hartsock took just five shots in 23 minutes. It's great to see the Cougars put up 86 points with Hartsock being able to take a night off of sorts.
3. Making three pointers. The Cougars dropped home 12 three pointers after making just 17 over the last six games. (Although casting up 32 threes is quite a lot).
1. Carlino still cold. Matt Carlino seems bound and determined to shoot his way out of his slump, and it's just not working. The freshman is super-effective when driving to the hoop. His 1-7 performance from deep dropped his season average to 33%, and he is just 4-34 from behind the arc over the last seven games.
2. Harrison's use of extra minutes. With Stephen Rogers out and with Zylstra joining him, freshman Damarcus Harrison got 20 minutes on the floor. But he shot just 2-10 and grabbed only two rebounds. Performances like this are what have kept Harrison on the bench -- if injuries persist, the Cougars will need more from Damarcus.
3. Davies turnovers. Brandon Davies has improved many facets of his game, but with four turnovers in 27 minutes, Davies is still turning the ball over too much.