PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Matt Carlino scored 19 points and Tyler Haws added 14 points and six rebounds to rally BYU to a 61-58 victory against Utah on Saturday night.
Both teams struggled offensively. The Cougars shot 31 percent from the field, while the Utes made just 37 percent of its shots.
Brandon Davies had 11 points and six rebounds for the Cougars (6-3), who rallied from a 12-point deficit in the second half.
“They were playing off," said Carlino. "They were giving us that shot the whole game, but those times I got up there and stuck it. I have been missing shots but if you’re a shooter, you just have to keep shooting. They were laying off us and stayed glued to Ty so someone had to hit shots.”
Jordan Loveridge scored 14 points and Glen Dean 10 for the Utes (6-3), who have lost 11 of the last 12 games in the series.
Carlino drained consecutive 3-pointers to knot the game at 52-52 with 4:55 left. Craig Cusick gave the Cougars their first lead when he buried a 3-pointer to make it 55-53 with 4:22 remaining.
Haws sealed the comeback with a layup and free throw to give BYU a 59-58 lead with 2:48 left. He added a pair of key free throws with 16.7 seconds remaining.
Justin Seymour had a chance to force overtime with a 3-pointer, but the ball bounced off the rim as time expired.
“This was a really good win for our team," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "Every win is a good win, but some are a little more special than others. In this situation it was not a race up and down the floor type of game. It was a slugfest. Our guys were able to figure out a different way to win than we’re used to. I think that's not only good for us right now, it will be good down the road. I’m really proud of our guys. They were able to hang in there and made just enough plays to win the game. We battled on the boards, for loose balls, and I think that was the difference in the game.”
Despite the loss, which kept the Utes winless in Provo for an 8th consecutive year, head coach Larry Krystkowiak was pleased with his team's performance in such a hostile environment.
“I was really impressed with our focus and energy coming out," Krystkowiak said. "You know the first half was a lot of man defense but we got the ball in the paint. I think we had 20 points in the paint in the first half. In the second half I think the zone affected us a little bit, but still at the end of the day, reviewing a lot of the plays, you know we did have some answers, we had some open looks, we didn’t make them. I really think, as complicated as it might be, even basketball comes down to us hitting one of those three’s or one of those two’s at any point and it changes the complexion of the game.”
The Cougars next play at Weber State December 15th, while the Utes are off until December 18th when they host SMU.