PROVO – In its largest margin of victory against a Division I opponent, BYU basketball stifled San Diego 91-33 in West Coast Conference action Saturday night at the Marriott Center.
“I think that might be as good as we have ever played with this group,” head coach Dave Rose said. “We were really focused on the defensive end and got them to take some tough shots early. We were good at rebounding the ball. Even when they beat us and get the shot they wanted, they had a hard time making them.”
The Toreros (8-19, 3-13 WCC) were held to 24.6 percent from the field and 0 of 20 from 3-point range, while BYU shot 57.1 from the floor and 12 of 27 behind the arc.
Nick Emery scored 17 points on 7 of 12 shooting, including 3 of 6 from deep, to go along with a career-high nine rebounds and five assists. Zac Seljaas added 13 points on 3 of 4 shooting from 3-point range and 5 of 7 from the floor, while Kyle Collinsworth reached double-figures with 12 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
It took just over three minutes into the first half for BYU to match its largest lead from Thursday’s contest against San Diego, a 69-67 Cougar win. Unselfish play and USD missing its first four shots helped the Cougars jump out to an early 8-0 lead at the 16:45 mark.
“I think on Thursday night we didn’t come out ready,” Emery said. “We gave them confidence at the beginning of the game and once you give a team like that confidence, they’re going to want it even more. I think that’s what we came out tonight with. Those guys are fighters and they’ll battle back.”
With the Cougars up 1-0, Corbin Kaufusi collected an offensive rebound and kicked it outside to Collinsworth on the right who then found Chase Fischer at the top of the key with a behind-the-back pass. Fischer made the extra pass, dishing up BYU’s first field goal of the game when Emery knocked down a 3-pointer from the left.
On the next Cougar possession, everyone touched the ball. Fischer found Emery across the court who passed it on to Collinsworth in the corner. He drove and dumped to Kaufusi in the lane, and he dished it to Kyle Davis for a layup on the opposite block.
San Diego scored its first bucket of the game to make the score 13-2 with 13:22 left in the first.
At the 11-minute media timeout, BYU had increased its lead to 18-2 due to the Toreros 1 of 13 shooting and six turnovers.
A steal and dunk on the other end by Collinsworth gave the Cougars a 27-6 lead with 8:21 left in the half.
BYU slowly stretched the lead to 36-9 at 3:35 left in the half, holding San Diego scoreless and two Kaufusi blocks over the previous 3:42. USD scored with just under a minute on the clock and Fischer drained a 3 just before the break to bring the halftime score to 39-11 in favor of the Cougars.
BYU extended its lead over USD to 53-14 on 5-for-8 shooting with 15:30 left in the game. Highlighting the 14-4 run were two crowd-energizing plays with another Collinsworth dunk and Emery pushing it ahead to Collinsworth who used a backwards-through-the-legs pass to set up Seljaas for his third three of the game.
A 3 by Jordan Chatman with 1:00 left gave BYU the 58-point lead and the eventual 91-33 final score.
The Cougars finish out the regular season at home next week beginning with Portland on Thursday at 9 p.m. MST. The game will be televised live on ESPNU and broadcast live on the Cougar IMG Sports Network.
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