PROVO — Provo fans are not used to leaving a home game on the losing end, but that's just what happened Tuesday night when Lehi came to town.
The Pioneers overcame a nine-point halftime deficit and 31 points from Kyle Collinsworth to pull out a 53-51 win over the Bulldogs on their home court.
"That's a big win," said Lehi coach Craig Gladwell. "You don't beat Provo at Provo very often."
Collinsworth scored 16 in the first half and 15 in the second, but it was his lack of success at the free throw line throughout the game that played the largest roll in the outcome. Collinsworth connected on 1-of-5 free throws including the bonus when he was fouled while putting the Bulldogs ahead 51-48 with three minutes to play. Provo as a team went 1-of-7 from the line.
Lehi's Ryan Christofferson answered with three of his 10 points to knot the game at 51-51 with 2:35 remaining.
Provo held the ball for the next minute until Ryan Durrant was fouled with 1:29 remaining. Durrant missed the front end of the 1-and-1 and the Pioneers got the rebound. Zach Stanley was fouled going to the basket with 23 seconds remaining and calmly sank both free throws to give Lehi the lead at 53-51.
Collinsworth had shots with 15 and five seconds remaining but was defended well and missed both times.
"You can't really stop him," said Gladwell. "He took a couple of tough shots there. We helped on him at the end."
When Kaleio Manuela scored just seconds into the second half to put Provo ahead 29-20, it looked like the Bulldogs might run away with it.
However, the Pioneers took control and outscored Provo 18-5 over the next five minutes to pull ahead 38-34. Collinsworth broke the drought by scoring the Bulldogs' next eight points, including a three at the third-quarter buzzer to put Provo ahead 42-40.
"They're a tremendous team," said Gladwell. "I'm just so proud of our kids hanging in there. It looks like we're dead at halftime, and to come out and seize the game and play the way they did, I was just pleased with the comeback."
The win, which helped make up for the two-point loss at Lehi when these two teams met earlier in the season, moves the Pioneers to 13-3 overall and 5-2 in the region. The Bulldogs fall to 12-3 and 5-1 in the region.
"It (the win) means so much to us in our region standings," said Gladwell. "Trying to get into those top two spots. If we'd have lost this one, we may never have had a chance."