BYU basketball picks up win in first exhibition game

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The BYU men’s basketball team rolled Arizona Christian University 103-75 on Friday night in Provo despite playing without four key players.

Senior guards Kyle Collinsworth, Chase Fischer, along with sophomore center Corbin Kaufusi and redshirt freshman Jordan Chatman sat out the game with left knee tendonitis, a quad contusion, a hamstring injury and a high ankle sprain, respectively.

Jamal Aytes goes up for a shot against Arizona Christian. The Cougars won 103-75. (Ari Davis)
Jamal Aytes goes up for a shot against Arizona Christian. The Cougars won the game 103-75. (Ari Davis)

Freshman Nick Emery and sophomore Jake Toolson stepped up in their absences.

“We knew it was going to be a challenge,” Toolson said. “Those are our captains. It just shows that we’re a deep team.”

Toolson and Emery had 26 of the Cougars’ 44 first-half points and BYU found themselves tied with ACU after the first 20 minutes of play.

The Cougars responded by opening the second half with a 34-9 scoring run.

“We just started to play our game,” true freshman Jakob Hartsock said.

Emery finished the game with 20 points on 54 percent shooting. Toolson added 23 points on 73 percent shooting.

Hartsock and Cory Calvert also finished in double figures for the Cougars with 12 points each.

Toolson credited the offensive schematics.

“We run our stuff,” Toolson said. “And when we do, we get buckets. We’re going to pass up a good shot for a great shot.”

The Cougars finished with 29 assists on 39 made baskets on the night.

Head coach Dave Rose said the second half performance was exactly what he wanted.

“I felt good about the shots we took,” Rose said. “We know the kind of shots we want as a staff. The shooting percentage was good. And a lot of guys made a lot of shots, which is good.”

The NCAA rules committee spent most of the offseason making rules changes to the game. Last season’s 67.6 points per game across college basketball was near historic lows, so the NCAA decided to rework some defensive rules. The shot clock was trimmed from 35 seconds to 30, the charge arc under the basket was extended to four feet and the five-second closely guarded rule was removed.

Ari Davis
The Cougars huddle up before the opening tip. BYU outscored ACU 59-31 in the second half. (Ari Davis)

The results of those changes were on display. The two teams combined for 33 fouls in the game.

The Cougars will next return to the Marriott Center on Nov. 7 to play Alaska in their final exhibition game before starting their regular season on Nov. 13 against the Utah Valley University Wolverines.

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