BYU basketball beat the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils 75-68 at home Wednesday night behind another impressive performance from Nick Emery.
Emery had his first career start tonight and did not disappoint. The freshman guard finished with 18 points, two rebounds and seven assists. Emery attributes his early success to the guys in the program.
“Coming in as a freshman is not too easy,” Emery said. “They’ve kind of shaped me right now and it’s just a continuous cycle – gotta keep learning and keep improving.”
The score didn’t show it, but the Cougars showed some important improvements since playing Adams State last Friday. BYU had a rhythm finding each other on offense and stayed persistent during its shooting slump in the second half. It did a great job of moving the ball but had trouble just getting it in the hoop after halftime.
BYU was flat-footed on offense in the second half, but its defense kept MVSU at bay. BYU’s defense never let up and kept the Delta Devils to 68 points. The Cougars’ defense had kept opponents to just 58.7 points per game coming into the game tonight.
“Consistency is a real issue in everything that you do,” head coach Dave Rose said. “In your execution, in your pace of play [and] in your urgency defensively.”
Corbin Kaufusi had a solid night posting 12 points, four rebounds and four blocks. Kaufusi took advantage of a 6-inch mismatch down low on offense including an impressive dunk after the assist and steal by Kyle Collinsworth.
“We’ve been pushing the ball really well,” Collinsworth said. “Getting out in transition and spacing the floor.”
The Cougars have looked very comfortable in the paint this season. Much of that confidence comes from having so many options for big men this season. Returners Nate Austin and Kaufusi are backed up by a solid core of freshman and transfer forwards Kyle Davis and Jamal Aytes.