BYU men’s basketball broke one hundred points for the second time this season in a 114-89 win over San Francisco Thursday night.
Both 100-plus-point games were against the Dons, including a 102-92 win in Provo on Jan. 9. The Cougars improved to 18-8 overall and 9-4 in the West Coast Conference.
Freshman guard Nick Emery stole the show, setting the all-time BYU freshman single game scoring record with his tenth 3-point basket of the game. Emery surpassed former Cougar Danny Ainge’s freshman record of 36 points with his own career-high of 37. He made 10-of-12 shots from beyond the arc, tying teammate Chase Fischer’s record for single-game 3-pointers. Emery also had five rebounds and two assists. He left the court to a standing ovation with less than two minutes left in the game.
Emery said he didn’t know he beat Ainge’s record or how many 3-pointers he scored until after the game.
“I was able to just knock down shots tonight,” Emery said. “That’s a heck of an honor and I’m blessed.”
BYU men’s basketball head coach Dave Rose said he’s happy for Emery and his accomplishment.
“I think Nick’s been waiting to feel like that in a game for a long time,” Rose said. “(The) most important thing is it gives the players around him confidence in his abilities.”
The Cougars maintained the lead after two ties and two lead changes early in the first half. BYU overcame its season trend of being a “second-half team” as the Cougars’ efficient shooting made them a “first-half team” against the Dons. BYU scored 58 points in the first half, the most points in one half points since scoring 60 points in the second half against Utah State in December 2014. The Cougars led the Dons 58-39 at halftime.
Rose said the team’s solid offensive performance came from challenging themselves in practice this week. BYU shot 58 percent from the field and made 63 percent of its 3-point attempts while holding San Francisco to 43 percent from the field and just 25 percent from beyond the arc.
“We had so many individual plays that we needed to make and it seemed like we made the right play,” Rose said. “We made the pass at the rim for a dump-off and a score, we made the dribble-drive and score at the rim, we made the dribble-drive and they help and we kick it to the corner for a three.”
Six BYU players scored in double-digits. Fischer added 22 points, including 12 in the first half. Senior guard Kyle Collinsworth contributed 17 points, six rebounds and eight assists. Junior forward Kyle Davis scored 12 points and had six rebounds. Freshman guard Jordan Chatman scored a season high 11 points off the bench, while sophomore center Corbin Kaufusi added 10 points. Freshman guard Zac Seljaas contributed five points as well.
Emery said the energy in the team was different, as they bounced back from a disappointing 77-72 loss to Pacific the previous game. He said the Cougar’s energy was “terrible” and that the team was lazy against the Waves.
“This whole week was different and I think we learn a lot from our losses and what we can do better,” Emery said. “To come back and get this win against a really good offensive efficiency team is obviously really good.”
Rose said the team is good at responding to tough things and plans to utilize that strength.
“It’s a team that can do hard things,” Rose said. “For us to get what we really want, we’re going to have to win three games back-to-back-to-back in Vegas. Hopefully we can do some things tomorrow that will prepare us better and we’ll be more locked in and ready to go on Saturday.”
The Cougars continue their road trip with a game at Santa Clara Saturday, February 13 at 2 p.m. (MST).