Kyle Collinsworth became BYU’s all-time leading rebounder in the Cougars’ 88-77 win over Pepperdine Saturday night in the first Marriott Center sellout of the season.
Collinsworth now leads BYU in rebounds as well as assists with 923 and 600, respectively. He had four rebounds and 24 points on the night. Collinsworth left the court with 42.6 seconds left in the game to a standing ovation.
“It’s surreal,” Collinsworth said. “It’s remarkable to see it add up. It’s just how I play.”
Head coach Dave Rose said this is quite an accomplishment because so many men have played as part of the BYU basketball program.
“If you’re the leading assist guy and the leader rebounder in a school that has this much basketball tradition, it’s a guy who’s played his heart out night after night,” Rose said.
Pepperdine got on the board first and held the lead until BYU tied the game 17-17. The Cougars then took the lead 19-17 on two free throws by sophomore center Corbin Kaufusi and held onto it for the rest of the game. BYU led by as many as 13 points in the first half but Pepperdine came within eight points heading into halftime with a score of 53-45.
The Waves put pressure on early in the second half and closed the gap to 58-56 before the Cougars went on a 6-0 run. The Cougars responded well and didn’t let the Waves leave with another win after losing 71-65 last week in Malibu.
“Guys made plays; it’s how you win,” Rose said. “Guys have got to execute a game plan and then when it comes down to big possessions, you got to come up with them. Our guys did that.”
BYU held Pepperdine off, earning an 88-77 victory as seven different players scored for the Cougars. Freshman guard Nick Emery scored 17 points and senior guard Chase Fischer had 15 behind Collinsworth’s 24. Junior forward Kyle Davis and Kaufusi also contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Freshman forward Jakob Hartsock drained three consecutive shots beyond the arc in 16 minutes of play. Hartsock attributed his good play to the confidence Rose has in each player he puts on the court.
Newly hired BYU head football coach Kalani Sitake introduced his coaching staff at halftime to an energetic crowd that was cheering at deafening levels.
“Whether royal or navy, we rep it ’cause it’s BYU blue. We have a ‘Y’ on the court, on the field and in our hearts,” Sitake said.
Sitake and the rest of the football staff were hosting many recruits on visits this weekend, as National Letter of Intent Day quickly approaches.
The Cougars will return to the court to host Saint Mary’s College on Thursday, February 4. Tip-off is 7 p.m. (MST).