Cougars rally in second half to beat Adams State

Natalie Bothwell
Nick Emery takes the ball to the hoop against Adams State. Emery has a bright future with the Cougars. (Nathalie Bothwell)

The BYU men’s basketball team beat Adams State 97-56 behind Nick Emery’s 20 points Friday night at the Marriott Center.

The freshman guard was the standout of the night with 20 points, two rebounds and six assists. Emery was extremely aggressive on defense, too, and pulled out three steals in the first half.

The Cougars struggled with turnovers against Long Beach State earlier in the week and started out a little shaky against Adams State committing four turnovers in the first four minutes. Emery led the offensive effort and helped the Cougars rally together to finish the first half strong.

“Every team has good offensive players,” BYU basketball coach Dave Rose said. “The key is to try to find good team offensive players, guys that will score in your system.”

Adams State came out aggressive in the first half and took the lead several times, but committed six team fouls pretty quick. Everything went downhill for Adams State once BYU adjusted to their four-guard offense.

Natalie Bothwell
Corbin Kaufusi dunks on Adams State. Kaufusi continues to be a huge contributor in the paint. (Nathalie Bothwell)

“I think we’re a high paced team and sometimes it’s hard to get into that pace,” Emery said. “But I feel like tonight we really dug down deep. We learned from our mistakes in the last game and were able to pull this one off with our pace.”

BYU struggled against Long Beach State but made some great adjustments for some solid numbers. Kyle Davis finished with his second double-double in three games. Corbin Kaufusi had a strong 14 points and seven rebounds. BYU’s game-high lead was 44 with five players in double digits.

Sophomore forward Jamal Aytes exploded in the second half after some encouragement from Rose during halftime.

“(Coach Rose) just kind of called us out honestly,” Aytes said. “We knew that we weren’t playing too well in the first half and it was kind of a gut check.”

BYU started rough but managed to find their groove and get the job done. Making game-time adjustments like these will be key if the Cougars want to make a serious run in March.

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