The BYU Cougars used a pair of big performances from Eric Mika and Nick Emery to get past the San Francisco Dons 85-75 at the Marriott Center on Thursday night.
Mika finished with a career-high 31 points on 12 for 17 shooting from the floor to go along with 12 rebounds and two blocks while Emery totaled 22 points on 7 for 10 shooting from the floor, including 4 for 6 from beyond the arc.
The Cougars also got a solid night from Elijah Bryant, who managed 14 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Remu Raitanen led the way for the Dons with 16 points on the strength of a 4-for-8 shooting performance from 3-point range while Jimbo Lull chipped in with 12 points.
Why the Cougars won
The Cougars did a nice job getting the ball to the guys who were making shots as no one other than Mika and Emery took more than seven shots. That translated into a 55.8 percent shooting night from the floor.
The key on the defensive end was limiting the Dons' outside shooting, and the Cougars did just that. San Francisco converted on just 8 of 33 attempts from beyond the arc.
The turning point
with the game tied at seven, the Cougars went on an 11-0 run to open up the first double-digit lead of the night.
While San Francisco would get closer, the Cougars held the lead the rest of the way.
What it means
It's another in a long line of games that the Cougars had to win and that's exactly what they did.
While he had a slow night on the glass, Yoeli Childs made some big contributions for the Cougars on both ends on the floor.
He led the team with three blocks while chipping in with eight points on 4-for-6 shooting from the field.
Grading the performances
Although the Cougars were cold from the outside (5 for 15 from beyond the arc), they dominated on the offensive end. Their post passing was especially impressive as the big men created easy looks for each other.
On the down side, they gave up 14 offensive rebounds and turned the ball over 13 times.
The Dons hung around all night long but just couldn't get enough stops or make enough shots to get the job done.
They had no answers for Mika on the inside and that proved costly as they dropped their fourth straight conference game.
Three telling stats
BYU didn't trail for the second game in a row and led for 38:45 seconds. The game was tied for the other 1:15.
The Cougars connected on 13 of 17 shots inside the arc in the second half (76.5 percent), on their way to a season-best 55.8 percent shooting night.1 comment on this story
The 13 turnovers by the Cougars were the most they have committed in a game since conference play started.
The Cougars are back on the road as they travel to San Diego to face the Toreros on Saturday.
San Diego is 8-9 on the season, including 1-4 in WCC play after a 59-57 loss to Santa Clara.
Brett Bailey and Olin Cater III provide most of the scoring punch for the Toreros, who average 71 points a game.
Bailey is averaging 17.1 points on 48.1 percent shooting from the floor with 6.9 rebounds while Carter puts up 16.5 points a contest.