PROVO Loyola Marymount regularly gave BYU shooters open looks from 3-point range and the Cougars made the Lions pay.
In BYU's 91-62 rout of Loyola Marymount Thursday night at the Marriott Center, the Cougars tied a program record by attempting 33 3-point shots. While BYU knocked down only 12 of those attempts, a flurry of 3's early in the second half helped the Cougars break open the game.
BYU led Loyola Marymount by only nine points at intermission. Then, during a five-minute stretch, guard Sam Burgess nailed three 3-pointers and Jonathan Tavernari added another that lifted BYU to a dominating 49-31 advantage with about 14 minutes remaining in the contest.
Later in the half, Tavernari drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to give him 17 points in the game and extend the lead to 67-38. In all, the sophomore guard went 5-for-10 from 3-point territory.
For the Cougars, Tavernari's performance was encouraging, given his prolonged shooting slump. In last Saturday's loss at Boise State, he shot a dismal 1-for-8 from the field and 0-for-6 from beyond the arc. Burgess, who hit all three of his 3-point attempts against Boise State, was 3-for-7 from 3-point land Thursday. He finished with nine points.
"With me, I get shots out of the offense," Burgess said, who is nursing a shoulder injury suffered last weekend. "With teams keying on Trent (Plaisted) and Lee (Cummard), I get shots. I shot well last game but I only got three shots."
The Cougars also attempted 33 3-pointers against UNLV in 1998 and in a 1992 first-round NCAA Tournament game against Louisiana State and Shaquille O'Neal.
As for the high number of 3-point attempts Thursday, BYU coach Dave Rose said that isn't something he'd like to see on a regular basis.
"We had plenty of open shots," Burgess said. "We just didn't make as many as we'd like to. We were just trying to get the best shots."
Meanwhile, freshman Jimmer Fredette missed all five of his 3-point attempts, though he ended up with seven points. Rose was pleased with the fact his team tallied 21 assists compared to 11 turnovers. The Cougars scored 26 points off of Loyola Marymount turnovers.Lion coach Rodney Tention praised BYU's effort. "The better team by far won tonight. BYU is a great team and we give them a lot of credit," he said. "I thought we got better for about 25 minutes, but we couldn't maintain it. A team like BYU is going to take advantage when you make mistakes ... I don't see any reason why they're not a top 25 team."