BYU basketball defeats San Diego 82-70

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Nick Emery maneuvers around a San Diego defender. Emery scored 26 points in BYU’s win. (Ryan Turner)

The BYU men’s basketball team defeated San Diego 82-70 on Thursday night at the Marriott Center.

Nick Emery led BYU with 26 points on 8-of-12 shooting while Eric Mika and Elijah Bryant had 15 points.

“I got open shots and was able to knock them down,” Emery said. “It was a good game. We’re learning how to play with each other and that’s the fun part. We’ve got a few years together and we just got to continue to grow up as a team.”

The Cougars opened the game cold, making just two of their first 10 shots while San Diego jumped out to a 7-3 lead.

But BYU would fight back. A 3-pointer by Emery tied the game at 11 and sparked a massive 28-11 run. BYU connected on 13-straight field goals during the run highlighted by a Yoeli Childs dunk off of a behind-the-back dish by Emery.

“After that first four-minute timeout we got into a pretty good rhythm,” said BYU head coach Dave Rose. “I thought our shot selection was good and I thought we shared the ball well.”

The run stretched BYU’s lead to 17 points.

“The streak was awesome,” Emery said. “It got us going and got us a lead.”

Despite an energetic Marriott Center, San Diego remained focused and fought their way back into the game.

BYU inevitably cooled off, and the Toreros went on a 19-8 run to finish the half.

The Cougars went 0-for-6 over the final five minutes of the half before a 3-pointer by Haws beat the buzzer and sent BYU into the half up 45-38.

“It was huge,” Rose said of Haws’s buzzer beater. “He knew the clock and got to where he wanted and delivered a shot. It was a big play.”

The second half started with four straight buckets for the Cougars after they missed their first three field goal attempts. San Diego made just one of their first eight attempts.

From there, a 10-3 BYU run extended the Cougars’ lead to a game-high 18 points.

San Diego would cut the lead to 11 with 2:05 to play, but a pair of free throws by Mika and a block by Childs sealed the game for BYU.

Overall BYU shot 45 percent from the field and 47 percent from 3-point range. San Diego shot 42 percent from the field and went 10-for-28 (36 percent) from 3-point range.

With the win BYU improves to 19-9 and 10-5 in conference play. The Cougars will go for win No. 20 on the year this Saturday as they take on No. 22 St. Mary’s on Senior Night. Tip off is set for 8 p.m. MST at the Marriott Center and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

Earlier in the evening, the BYU women’s basketball team defeated San Diego 65-47. The Cougars currently trail Gonzaga by one game for first place in the WCC.

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