The BYU men’s basketball team defeated Loyola Marymount 85-77 at the Marriott Center Saturday night.
Four Cougars scored in double digits on the night, with Eric Mika leading BYU with 27 points.
“I thought it was a pretty good win for our guys,” said BYU head coach Dave Rose. “They were really aggressive on both ends of the floor.”
BYU opened the game by sinking seven of their first seven shots, while LMU connected on over half of its first seven attempts.
A 13-5 run helped propel BYU to a 10-point lead before LMU would break out an 18-9 run to take a 40-39 lead with just under a minute to play.
Two quick buckets helped the Cougars regain the lead 43-39 before halftime.
Emotions ran high during the first half, which saw a technical foul and a flagrant one foul issued to LMU late in the half.
Haws opened the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers and a layup from Yoeli Childs gave BYU a 62-51 lead with 11:34 to play.
LMU struggled to mount a comeback, as the Lions made just one field goal between the 17:49 and 7:49 marks of the second half.
BYU would open up a game high lead of 16 during that stretch.
However, BYU turnovers off of sloppy passing would allows the Lions to crawl back into the game. The Cougars ended with 23 turnovers on the night, with LMU scoring 19 points off of those opportunities.
“We didn’t have that constant energy that we needed,” Mika said. “We kind of let them sneak back into it a couple of times.”
LMU would cut the lead to six late in the half, but BYU held strong. Good defense and solid free throw shooting helped the Cougars hold on despite only making one field goal over the final four minutes of the game.
“I thought we did well at attacking their defense and that helped us get to the line,” said BYU guard TJ Haws.
Emery extends made 3-pointer streak
With a 3-pointer in the first half, Emery extended his streak of consecutive games with a made 3-pointer to 32. On the night, Emery was 1-for-4 from 3-point range.
BYU football head coach Kalani Sitake addressed Marriott Center at halftime
Coach Sitake took a moment during halftime to thank Cougar Nation for its support during his first year in charge. It was nearly one year ago tonight that Sitake was announed as head coach and addressed the crowd during the men’s basketball game vs. Pepperdine. He mentioned the outstanding support he and his team received wherever they played. “Home is always where we play,” Sitake said.
With the win, BYU improves to 16-7 on the year, 7-3 in conference play. Up next for the Cougars is a home match-up with No. 3 Gonzaga. The Bulldogs are the only remaining undefeated team in the nation and could be ranked as high as No. 1 when the polls come out Monday morning.
“We’re all excited,” Mika said. “We have an awesome crowd here in the Marriott Center, and it gets loud. It’s going to be full. They’re a heck of a team and I think we’re playing a lot better than we have at different parts of the season. If we bring it, it’s going to be a really good game.”
Earlier on Saturday, the BYU women’s basketball team lost to Loyola Marymount 77-74 in overtime in Los Angeles.