Dec 23, 2014; Provo, UT, USA; Brigham Young Cougars guard Anson Winder (20) dribbles the ball while being guarded by Massachusetts Minutemen center Cady Lalanne (25) during overtime at Marriott Center. Brigham Young Cougars won the game in overtime 77-71. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
Anson Winder scored a career high 25 points as BYU survived in an overtime thriller over UMass 77-71. The game was close throughout, but Kyle Collinsworth hit two free throws to give BYU a one point lead with just over a minute remaining. UMass forward Maxie Esho had a chance to win the game with one second left and the Minutemen trailing 62-61, but he missed his second free throw after making the first to send the game into overtime. UMass actually got out to a quick 4 point lead in overtime, but BYU rallied behind center Corbin Kaufusi, who nailed two free throws and then had a slam dunk to put BYU up 71-68 with less than a minute left. Winder and Skyler Halford were able to seal the deal at the free throw line from there and the Cougars held on for the overtime victory.
The major storyline for BYU was the struggle Tyler Haws had on offense. He finished with only 4 points on 2/9 shooting in 27 minutes, the second lowest point total of his post-mission career. Clearly he is still suffering the effects of his ankle injury, but luckily he had Winder to pick up the slack offensively. Winder’s 25 points came on 7/13 shooting and 8/10 from the line. Kyle Collinsworth had one of his best games of the season with 18 points, 8/11 from the free throw line (an area of massive improvement from last year), 15 rebounds (5 offensive), and 4 assists. Corbin Kaufusi had a solid game with 6 points, 2 steals, and 1 block.
Maxie Esho led UMass with 16 points and 9 rebounds, despite missing the game winning free throw. Cady Lalanne put up his typical double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Donte Clark was a key player off the bench for UMass with 16 points, but Derrick Gordon was held to 7 points on 3/8 shooting in 40 minutes of action.
It was interesting to see Coach Rose give some key minutes to Frank Bartley down the stretch, as he has been in the doghouse essentially since January of last season. He didn’t do anything great, but didn’t make any mistakes, allowing BYU to stay in the game.
Stat of the Day
The total foul count for the game was UMass 25, BYU 13, with three Minutemen starters in major foul trouble at the end of the game including Maxie Esho, who fouled out. Corbin Kaufusi was the only BYU player to pick up more than 2 fouls for the entire 45 minutes. It’s quite incredible that the Cougars managed to foul only 13 times in the overtime game. As a result, BYU went 26/32 at the foul line as opposed to UMass’ 12/17. That advantage allowed Tyler Haws and Chase Fischer to both struggle mightily and the Cougars to still get the victory.
After a very short Christmas break, things will get very tough for BYU on Saturday when they host #8 Gonzaga at the Marriott Center. Nate Austin will likely still be out for that game, so it will be tough for the Cougars to deal with Karnowski/Wiltjer/Sabonis. If Tyler Haws isn’t on his game, the Cougars have little shot to win that game.