BYU destroys San Diego in 58-point win

Senior forward Nate Austin tied the BYU all-time record of 406 career fouls in the Cougars’ 91-33 win over USD. (Natalie Stoker)

BYU men’s basketball destroyed the University of San Diego 91-33 in the second game of a back-to-back series this week.

A different BYU team took the court in the Marriott Center following the Cougars’ 69-67 win two days before. The Cougars completely turned around their play in front of a sold-out crowd to improve to 21-8 overall and 12-4 in the West Coast Conference.

“Tonight, we proved that we learn well from our mistakes and move on to the next game really well,” said freshman guard Nick Emery.

Emery said the team “didn’t come out ready” in its previous two-point victory and fellow freshman guard Zac Seljaas said the Cougars were looking for redemption in Provo.

Five of BYU’s first six points came from offensive rebounds as the Cougars took an early, commanding control of the game. BYU held USD scoreless for over six minutes, opening the half on a 13-0 run. The Toreros shot just 14 percent, connecting on only five of their 31 attempts. Good ball movement enabled the Cougars to build a 28-point lead heading into halftime, 39-11. Emery scored nine first-half points while senior guard Chase Fischer and Seljaas each had eight first-half points.

BYU continued its attack in the second half, eventually increasing its lead to 58 points and a 91-33 victory. The Cougars executed their defensive game plan well, holding the Toreros to 25 percent shooting on the night. BYU shot 57 percent from the field.

“There were a couple of plays in the second half that were almost picture-perfect,” said BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “It was just guys making decisions — an extra pass.”

BYU out-rebounded USD 49-28 after being out-rebounded by the Toreros 37-32 two days before.

“The key for us was we were really focused on just giving them one shot,” Rose said. “We were able to beat them on the boards tonight, which I thought was a big part of the success.”

Senior forward Nate Austin tied Russell Larson‘s record of 408 all-time career fouls at BYU. Rose said Austin has been a “great piece to a lot of really good teams” in Provo.

“The one thing about Nate is, he’s a second and third effort guy,” Rose said. “You always get a great first effort, but he’s a guy that will give you a second or third effort.”

Emery led the Cougars with 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Seljaas scored 13 points, his highest point total since suffering a shoulder injury earlier this season. Senior guard Kyle Collinsworth contributed 12 points and seven rebounds. Davin Guinn scored nine points off the bench in eight minutes. Fischer scored all eight of his points in the first half, while junior forward Kyle Davis and freshman guard Jordan Chatman also scored eight points.

The Cougars host the first of their final two regular season games against Portland on Thursday, February 25. Tipoff is at 9 p.m. (MST).

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