The Cougar basketball team got back on track with an 87-68 victory against Loyola Marymount thanks to a historic triple-double from Kyle Collinsworth.
Collinsworth’s career high tying 23 points, along with 12 rebounds and 10 assists, made for his fifth triple-double of the season, putting him alone in the NCAA record book for the most ever in a single season.
“He was special tonight. It was from the very tip, the very first possession,” BYU coach Dave Rose said. “He was determined to give the effort that we all needed here in this game.”
In 32 years since assists became an official NCAA stat, all other BYU players have combined for four total triple-doubles. Collinsworth needed only 17 games to surpass that number himself.
“I know it sounds kind of cliche, but he really can do everything,” said BYU forward Josh Sharp, who made his first start of the season. “The fact that he was able to do that five different times is amazing.”
The two teams traded baskets early on before LMU went on a 10-0 run, capped by Evan Payne’s backcourt steal and monster dunk at the 10:12 mark to take a 16-11 lead.
BYU then switched to a zone defense, which disrupted the Lions’ offense and led to more scoring opportunities for the Cougars.
BYU’s starting guards carried most of the weight for the Cougars in the first half. Collinsworth, Tyler Haws and Chase Fischer combined for 30 of the team’s 40 points before the break.
Sharp and Corbin Kaufusi also contributed a lot on the defensive end, with eight rebounds and three blocks between them.
“As a group we’ve been talking about (rebounding) for a long time, especially on the defensive end,” Sharp said. “Us getting defensive rebounds and not giving them extra opportunities, it’s been a focus for a while.”
The Cougars held a 40-30 lead at halftime.
Rose wanted to see more enthusiasm from his team after giving up a 16-point lead just two nights ago in a loss to Pepperdine.
“Hopefully our guys will have a little more resolve here in the second half, especially on the defensive end,” he said at the time.
Rose got his wish, as the Lions were only able to close the Cougar lead to six for a mere minute before BYU took control for good.
“It’s not very often in this game where you get to redo something that just happened,” Rose said after the game. “We were in the exact same spot, probably 36 hours later from the game the other night. Somehow the guys got together and got it figured out, because we started to get stops, and at the end we were just really good and got the score up to where we could win it.”
Collinsworth recorded his 10th rebound and assist in quick succession with seven minutes still to go in the game. The Cougars dominated from that point on, never allowing the Lions to come back within single digits, stretching their lead to as much as 20 before finishing the game 87-68.
Payne and Marin Mornar led LMU with 15 and 17 points respectively. Haws and Skyler Halford added 22 and 18 for the Cougars.