PROVO – Overwhelming post play from Eric Mika and Yoeli Childs helped BYU past Idaho State 84-58 Tuesday night at the Marriott Center.
“I’m really pleased with our team,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “I thought we did some things tonight that helped us get better. It was one of the first games we’ve played with an opponent that plays that much zone. We got better at attacking it as the game went on.”
Mika led the Cougars with 19 points and 12 rebounds to collect his fifth double-double of the season. Childs also had a double-double with 13 points and 14 boards. The two players also had three blocks apiece. TJ Haws was effective on the perimeter, collecting 17 points in addition to a team-leading six assists and three steals.
BYU (8-4) outrebounded Idaho State (3-10) 46-29 and had a 34-14 points-in-the-paint advantage for the game.
Mika scored eight of the Cougars’ first 10 points en route to a 10-3 lead with 15:25 left in the first half.
A pair of Childs free throws extended BYU’s lead to double digits at 19-8 with 10:40 remaining before halftime.
A Mika jumper kept the Cougars ahead 24-8 before the Bengals followed with an 8-3 run, which included a pair of 3-pointers, to stay within 11 points, trailing 27-16.
L.J. Rose countered with three treys, extending the advantage to 16 at 35-19 with just over four minutes left in the half.
Idaho State closed out the first 20 minutes of play on an 8-2 run, including a dunk as time expired, to cut the BYU advantage to eight at 39-31.
A Bengal 3-pointer edged them within five after the break, 41-36, but that was as close as they got as a Nick Emery jumper ignited a 10-1 run to put the Cougars back up 51-37.
The teams stayed competitive, however, as a behind-the-back pass from Haws set up a Braiden Shaw reverse layup, extending the lead to 64-49 with under 10 minutes left in the game.
A Childs dunk gave him his double-double with under five minutes to play, increasing the BYU lead to 25 at 79-54. He had another jam just second later.
A Colby Leifson 3-pointer and Childs jumper ended the Cougar scoring as BYU picked up the 84-58 win.
The Cougars return to the Marriott Center to face CSU Bakersfield on Thursday, Dec. 22, at 7 p.m. MST. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and simulcast on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143. It will also be broadcast on the Cougar IMG Sports Network and KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM.
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