Furious waves of scoring runs help BYU avenge loss to Pepperdine
Luke Franke, Deseret News
BYU 88, Pepperdine 77
PROVO — Last weekend in Malibu, BYU scored a grand total of 65 points in a grinding loss to Pepperdine.
Saturday before a sellout crowd of 18,987 at the Marriott Center, the Cougars rolled up 53 points — at halftime — against the Waves.
The Cougars employed their familiar fast-and-furious up-tempo attack, drilling 7 3-pointers, and shooting 62 percent in the first half.
While BYU couldn’t sustain that kind of production in the second half, it downed Pepperdine 88-77 to avenge last weekend’s defeat and snap a three-game losing streak to the Waves. Pepperdine had won four out of the previous five meetings.
“It was two teams desperate for a win,” said BYU coach Dave Rose. “We were fortunate to turn around last Saturday night and we were on the good end of making some plays. Our team responded to things we needed to do better We were pretty active tonight. It’s a really good win for us.”
BYU senior guard Kyle Collinsworth scored a game-high 24 points, grabbed four rebounds and dished out 10 assists against Pepperdine.
Collinsworth also became the school’s all-time leader in rebounds, surpassing Michael Smith’s mark of 922. He set the record with a little less than one minute left in the game. Last week, Collinsworth became the all-time assist leader at BYU.
“It’s surreal,” Collinsworth said of his rebounding record. “It’s remarkable to see it add up. It’s a great accomplishment. It’s how I play. Nobody’s going to rebound better than me from my position.”
Four other Cougars also scored in double figures — Nick Emery (17), Chase Fischer (15), Kyle Davis (11) and Corbin Kaufusi (10). Emery also recorded five steals.
Playing at home makes a difference, Collinsworth said, and it showed. “More pace to us, a little more juice at home,” Collinsworth explained.
The Cougars and Waves each pulled down 36 rebounds. Pepperdine had 13 of its 15 offensive rebounds in the first half last week against the Cougars but had only 10 Saturday.
“Rebounding was huge and we got a lot of stops in a row when we needed to,” Collinsworth said. “We made plays when we needed to. At their place, we didn’t.”
BYU (16-7, 7-3) snapped Pepperdine’s four-game winning streak and the Cougars extended their homecourt winning streak to 16 games. BYU’s last loss at home came against the Waves (14-8, 7-4) last January.
While Jett Raines (17), Lamond Murray (16), Kameron Edwards (16) and Jeremy Major (13) did some damage against BYU, Pepperdine’s Stacy Davis scored only eight points.
“We took away his space,” Collinsworth said of limiting Davis' output. “Our big guys did a good job using their length. We forced him into taking tough shots.”
In the first half, BYU controlled the tempo. After spotting Pepperdine a 6-0 lead, the Cougar offense kicked into gear. Collinsworth scored BYU’s first six points, including a 3-pointer, followed by a 3-pointer by Davis. A double-clutch dunk by Kaufusi made it 15-12 for the Waves.
Moments later, the Cougars went on an 11-1 run to take a 23-18 advantage with 12 minutes left in the first half.
Freshman Jakob Hartsock knocked down three consecutive 3-pointers for BYU to give the Cougars its biggest lead at that point, 34-25.
BYU’s hot shooting continued as it built on its lead and eventually went up by 13 points, 48-35.
At the half, the Cougars led 53-45 and were shooting 62.5 percent. The Waves shot 60 percent in the first half.
Pepperdine scored the final four points of the first half and first six of the second half, eventually whittling the deficit to two points, 58-56, with 15:56 left in the game.
But BYU’s ensuing 13-2 spurt put the Cougars up by 13 again.
BYU hosts Saint Mary’s next Thursday.
TIP-INS: Freshman guard Zac Seljaas suffered a right shoulder contusion last Thursday against Loyola Marymount. He sat on the bench in street clothes, wearing a sling on his arm Both teams shot an identical 9 of 12 from the floor through the game’s first nine minutes BYU shot 62.5 percent from the field in the first half, its best shooting half of the season.
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