The BYU Cougars took the lead with 14:30 to play in the second half and never trailed again en route to an 83-76 win over the USF Dons at War Memorial Gym Thursday night.
The teams played a tight first half, with neither team holding more than a four-point lead , and the Dons (11-8, 4-3 West Coast Conference) went in at halftime with a 37-34 lead.
BYU (12-7, 4-2) tied the game twice in the early stages of the second half, but went ahead for the first time since leading 31-29 with 2:43 to go in the first half when Eric Mika scored on the inside off a pass from Skyler Halford to put BYU up 48-46.
USF would never get closer than one point the rest of the way, with the Cougars opening their largest lead of the night at 69-60 on a Halford jumper with 6:04 remaining. The Dons battled back to within five a couple of times, but never seriously threatened in the closing minutes.
Kyle Collinsworth led five Cougars in double figures with 19 points. Halford had 18 points and three steals, Matt Carlino scored 17 points, Tyler Haws had 15 and Mika scored 11. Nate Austin led the Cougars with eight rebounds.
Cole Dickerson paced the Dons with 26 points and 14 rebounds. Avry Holmes added 16 points and five assists, Kruize Pinkins scored 14 points and Mark Tollefsen finished with 11 points and three blocked shots.
BYU was 25-for-53 (47.2 percent) overall, 5-for-11 (45.5 percent) from 3-point range and 28-for-37 (75.7 percent) from the foul line. USF was 26-for-58 (44.8 percent), 5-for-10 (50 percent) and 19-for-24 (79.2 percent).
The Dons out-rebounded the Cougars 40-28, but committed 15 turnovers to just eight for BYU.
USF, which has now lost two straight, hosts San Diego on Saturday evening for a 5 p.m. tipoff.