Cougars awaken in the 2nd half, rally past San Diego

Photo courtesy BYU Photo

SAN DIEGO – Kyle Collinsworth’s double-double helped BYU edge past San Diego 69-67 Thursday night at Jenny Craig Pavilion.

“Our guys found a lot of different ways we can win a game, especially without making shots,” head coach Dave Rose said. “We are a shot-making team and when we can’t hit perimeter shots, it has been hard to find wins. Tonight it was driving at the rim, finishing at the rim and getting to the free throw line.”

byuhoopsCollinsworth led the team in points (25), rebounds (12) and assists (6), helping him get his 10th double-double of the year. Chase Fischer contributed 14 points, Nick Emery added 12 and Kyle Davis chipped in nine to lead the Cougars.

BYU (20-8, 11-4 West Coast Conference) got off to a slow start against San Diego (8-18, 3-12 WCC), trailing 7-4 after a dunk from Davis. The Toreros then went on an 8-0 run with help from a pair of 3-pointers to take a 15-4 lead and force the Cougars to take a timeout.

BYU countered with a 7-0 run of its own over a two-minute span, fueled by a Collinsworth 3-pointer and layup, to come back within four, down 15-11.

Photo courtesy BYU Photo
Photo courtesy BYU Photo

San Diego then equaled its early 11-point advantage after making three-straight buckets, up 28-17 at the under-eight timeout.

Collinsworth hit a jumper and a trio of shots from the charity stripe to bring the Cougars’ deficit back to single digits, down 32-24.

Jordan Chatman then finished the half with a 3-pointer to bring BYU back within five at 32-27. The Cougars’ defense held the Toreros scoreless for the final 5:30 minutes before halftime.

Fischer’s first points of the game came from a 3-pointer out of the break and jumpers by both Collinsworth and Emery gave BYU its first lead since the 2-0 mark at 34-32.

Davis scored on a lob from an inbounds pass to put the Cougars up three at 41-38 and a Fischer baseline shot kept BYU ahead in the closely-contested game 48-46 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game.

Emery converted on an old-fashioned 3-point play to keep his team up by three, 60-57, and back-to-back shots from Fischer capped off a 9-1 run to give BYU its largest lead of the night at eight, 66-58.

San Diego scored the next six-straight points to come back within a pair at 66-64, but Emery scored a pair of free throws to put the Cougars back up by four.

The Toreros’ Vasa Pusica hit a desperation 3-pointer to make it a one-point game with four seconds remaining, but an Emery free throw sealed the close win for BYU 69-67.

The Cougars return home to the Marriott Center Saturday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. MST in a rematch against the Toreros. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv as well as the Cougar IMG Sports Network.

BYU Notes: The Cougars won their 20th game season, the 11th consecutive season with 20 or more wins.

BYU hit just 9 field goals in the first half, the 2nd fewest in a half this year, behind 7 against Pacific in the second half. BYU’s 21 total field goals were also the 2nd fewest of the season.

BYU held San Diego scoreless for the final 5:30 of the first half and first 4:27 of second half. The Cougars went on an 8-0 run to close the half and a 7-0 run to open the second half and regained lead at 34-32 at the 16:31 mark, their first lead since 2-0 to start the game.

The Cougars overcame a 13-point deficit, the second biggest deficit overcome this season in a victory.

BYU trailed at half (32-27) for the 12th time this season but came back for the win, improving to 5-7 this season when trailing at the half.

Stats: byu-usd-box_1

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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