LOS ANGELES — BYU overcame a torrid first-half shooting exhibition by Loyola Marymount, rallied from a 15-point deficit and guard Kyle Collinsworth shattered more records Thursday night.
In the end, the Cougars defeated the Lions 91-80 before a sparse crowd of 2,681 at Gersten Pavilion.
Collinsworth became the school’s all-time assist leader early in the second half, surpassing Matt Montague, and earned his 10th career triple-double, an ongoing NCAA record.
“You get down then you just wait for our run. We stayed in it like we did at Gonzaga (last Thursday)," Collinsworth said. "We stayed positive, we kept fighting and we made our run. The biggest thing is, we just played hard every possession. We played together. It was a great team effort.”
“We showed a lot of character," said coach Dave Rose. "This was a very important game for us.”
Collinsworth scored 10 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and had a career-high 15 assists to go along with five steals.
“Kyle was tremendous," Rose said.
Nick Emery poured in 24 points, including four 3-pointers, and Chase Fischer scored 20 points with five 3-pointers. Kyle Davis had a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Zac Seljaas finished with 12 points, including four 3-pointers.
LMU was lead by forward Adom Jacko, who scored a game-high 26 points and pulled down 12 boards. He hit 11 of 12 shots from the field.
“He’s good," Rose said of Jacko. "He caused us some problems.”
BYU improved to 14-6 overall and 5-2 in the West Coast Conference. LMU fell to 9-10, 2-6.
After coming all the way back from 15 down in the second half and retaking the lead, BYU trailed 79-78 with five minutes remaining before the Cougars went on an 11-0 run to seal the victory.
As part of that run, Collinsworth secured his triple-double on a free throw with 3:07 left in the game.
BYU outscored LMU in the second half, 51-30. The Lions shot 33 percent in the second half.
LMU shot 68 percent from the field in the first half and took a 10-point halftime lead. Then BYU turned the tables on the Lions in the second half, shooting 59 percent.
“It’s amazing how well they shot in the first half," Emery said. "I don’t think I’ve ever played a game in my career where a team has shot 70 percent. We weren’t going to let that happen in the second half.”
The Cougars hit their first six shots of the second half, including 4 of 4 from 3-point range from Emery and Seljaas, to pull to within 57-55. They finally retook the lead, 63-61, with a little less than 13 minutes remaining.
“It got us going," Emery said of hitting 3's early in the second half. "Kyle and Chase found us and it’s awesome how much trust they have in us as freshmen. We’re just doing our jobs and knocking down those shots.”
LMU went back on top, 79-78, with five minutes left, but BYU answered with six consecutive points, including a 3-pointer by Seljaas, to grab its largest lead, 85-79, at that point.
Loyola Marymount shot the lights out in the first half at Gersten Pavilion. The Lions knocked down 17 of their first 21 shots, including eight 3-pointers.
LMU finished the half shooting 19 of 28 (68 percent) from the field, with 9 of 13 from 3-point range, and held a 50-40 advantage over BYU.
The deficit could have been even worse for the Cougars, considering the Lions’ torrid shooting.
The two teams battled to a 24-24 tie midway through the first half before BYU, thanks in part to four 3-pointers by Fischer, grabbed a 31-26 lead.
That’s when things fell apart for the Cougars in the first half.
LMU unleashed a 20-0 run, including four consecutive 3-pointers, to seize a 46-31 lead. Joshua Spiers and Steven Haney combined to go 6 of 7 from 3-point range in the first half.
During that stretch, BYU went scoreless for six and a half minutes. Seljaas ended the drought with three minutes left in the half. At that point, the Cougars had drawn within eight, 48-40.
BYU visits Pepperdine Saturday.