BYU made its biggest comeback of the season in a 91-80 win over Loyola Marymount University Thursday night to improve to 14-6 overall and 5-2 in West Coast Conference play.
Senior guard Kyle Collinsworth is now BYU’s leader in career assists with 579, surpassing Matt Montague’s previous record of 570. Collinsworth also recorded his fourth triple-double of the season and tenth of his career, extending his own NCAA record. He scored 10 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out 15 assists.
“It’ll make it nice for him and his family to remember all those things happened in the win,” BYU men’s basketball head coach Dave Rose said. “I think that’s his tenth triple-double, we’ve won nine of those. He can really make a difference, that’s for sure.”
BYU continued to struggle shooting in the first half on the road, as it did last week against Gonzaga and Portland. The Cougars led 33-31 before the Lions went on a 17-0 run to take the lead with a score of 46-31. LMU shot 70 percent from the field and made 75 percent of its 3-point shots as BYU battled back from a 15-point deficit, trailing 50-40 at halftime.
“It was a battle, but we showed up in the second half and we never gave up and kept fighting,” Collinsworth said.
The Cougars soon found their groove, whittling the Lions’ lead down to four points in the first three minutes of the second half. Freshman guard Nick Emery sunk a 3-pointer to bring BYU within two points and the score to 57-55. The teams then stayed within five points of each other until freshman guard Zac Seljaas hit a 3-pointer with 3:31 left in the game to put the Cougars up 85-79 and seal their lead. BYU had 32 field goals on the night and assisted on 22 of them.
“(I’m) happy for them today because tonight, we were in a bad spot and were able to come out of it and keep a real intense, kind of fanatic pace in the second half the entire time,” Rose said.
Emery and Seljaas both made 4-of-8 baskets from beyond the arc and scored 24 and 12 points, respectively. Emery also had six assists. Senior guard Chase Fischer contributed 20 points while junior forward Kyle Davis recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Senior forward Nate Austin also had nine points on the night.
“It’s a good win for our guys and we left a lot here, so hopefully we can recover and got a huge game to get over to in Malibu on Saturday,” Rose said.
The Cougars continue their road trip with a game at Pepperdine University Saturday, January 23. Tip-off begins at 6 p.m. (MST).