(1090 The Fan) — The BYU Cougars got a much-needed 73-65 home victory over No. 25 Gonzaga, Thursday night to propel the team’s NCAA Tournament hopes.
Gonzaga (23-5, 13-2) was looking to clinch yet another West Coast Conference title only to see its 9-game conference winning streak snapped in Provo.
Anson Winder scored 17 points including finishing 10-for-10 from the free-throw line and Matt Carlino scored 15 points and delivered six assists to lead the Cougars to their sixth win in the team’s last seven games.
The Zags lost primarily because they were out-rebounded by nine, had 16 turnovers and shot just 22 percent (4-for-18) from beyond the arc. Center Sam Dower Jr. finished with 14 points and eight rebounds while Kevin Pangos chipped in 13 to pace the Bulldogs.
BYU (19-10, 11-5), which came in on the NCAA tournament bubble, set the tone early by taking a 28-18 lead with 8:19 to play in the first half after a Carlino 3-point basket and Eric Mika lay-up. The Zags, though, finished the half on a 21-11 run thanks to a better defensive effort and the two teams entered halftime tied at 39-39.
Unfortunately for Gonzaga, that was the last time they shared the lead as BYU opened with possession in the second half, scored and never looked back.
The Cougars’ offense entered Thursday night’s contest ranked third nationally in scoring and finished the game shooting 44 percent from the field.
-Anthony Dion, 1090 The Fan
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