SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Maybe BYU doesn’t need 3-pointers after all to win basketball games.
Nick Emery scored 31 points and BYU shot 58.5 percent from the floor in blowing out Santa Clara 96-62 Saturday afternoon at SCU’s Leavey Center. The Cougars only attempted 13 3-pointers in the game as the Broncos made a concerted effort to stop the long ball. But that left the driving lanes wide open for Emery and the rest of the Cougars.
Chase Fischer had 22 points and stat-stuffer Kyle Collinsworth had 15 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds, while shooting 7 for 9 from the floor. BYU was also dominant on the glass, outrebounding Santa Clara 44-33.
The game was close for the first seven minutes, with the SCU’s Kai Healy tying the contest at 19 on a layup with 13:02 left in the first half. Fischer hit a 3-pointer to spark a 9-0 BYU run that included layups by Collinsworth, Emery and Fischer. The surge gave BYU a 28-19 lead with 11:01 to go until halftime.
It was 37-27 when Fischer and Emery made back-to-back treys to force a timeout by Broncos coach Kerry Keating with the lead the biggest it had been at 43-27 with 3:26 to go in the half.
The Broncos made a mini run to start the second half, closing to within 55-41 after a jumper by Matt Hubbard. But a 7-0 run, with Emery scoring 5 of those 7, pushed the lead back up over 20 and Santa Clara never made a serious run after that.
BYU attempted 27 3-pointers Thursday night at San Francisco, making 17. Against SCU, BYU was 6 for 13 from deep.
The Broncos shot just 31 percent from the floor in the game (20-64), including just 6 for 28 from beyond the arc (21 percent). Healy was 2 for 14 and 0 for 7 from deep.
The Cougars, 19-8 overall and 10-4 in the West Coast Conference, are two games behind conference leader Gonzaga and a half-game in back of Saint Mary’s for second place. BYU plays San Diego twice next week, with a road game at the Toreros Thursday (9 p.m. on ESPNU) and then a game at the Marriott Center Saturday night (7 p.m. on BYUtv).
Santa Clara, 9-17 and 5-9, was led by Jared Brownridge’s 19 points. The Broncos have lost five of their last seven games. They play at Loyola Marymount Thursday night.
Stats: BYU 96, SCU 62
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