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PROVO - The Coaches versus Cancer Classic was a tournament for a good cause, but the trip to Brooklyn left BYU with a 2-2 record and questions across the board.
In their first game since returning back to the comforts of the Marriott Center, the Cougars posted a comfortable 81-62 win over the University of Texas-San Antonio Wednesday night helped improve the outlook of the season for the young Cougar squad.
What were three things that the Cougars did well to help them obtain the 19-point victory over the Roadrunners?
First, the Cougars shot the ball at an elite level. A measuring stick for elite accuracy is 50 percent shooting on field-goal attempts, 40 percent on 3-point attempts, and 90 percent from the free-throw line. BYU finished 31-of-60 from the field, including 6-of-14 on 3-point attempts, and 13-of-14 on free-throw attempts.
While the starters combined to shoot 44.7 percent, the second unit came in and went on a tear, finishing the game by going 69.2 percent on 9-of-13 shooting. Craig Cusick, who has come off the bench and provided instant points from the perimeter during the season, hit all three of his attempts in finishing with seven points, eight rebounds, and five assists while covering for Matt Carlino, who suffered an ankle injury in the first half.
Second, the Cougars gathered 12 offensive rebounds and 34 defensive rebounds. Taking into consideration that BYU only missed 29 shots, a 40-percent rebound rate on the offensive glass is a remarkable figure. Also, by securing rebounds on defense, and limiting the Roadrunners to three offensive rebounds, the Cougars could spend energy on the offensive end of the floor.
Third, they shared the ball well and knocked down shots after being set up by their teammates. BYU registered an assist on 61 percent of its baskets - an excellent mark for a team that thrives on cuts to the basket and perimeter shooting.