STOCKTON, Calif. — For the West Coast Conference opener at Pacific, BYU coach Dave Rose decided to shake up his starting lineup.
Seniors Luke Worthington and McKay Cannon started Thursday night in place of Zac Seljaas and Jahshire Hardnett.
It marked the second start of the season for both Worthington and Cannon. Worthington and Cannon had started one game this season — against Utah Valley and Utah State, respectively.
Shuffling the starting lineup proved effective from the outset. Cannon buried a pair of 3-pointers in the first five minutes of the game against the Tigers and the Cougars opened up a 28-12 lead midway through the first half. BYU was up 46-25 late in the first half and led at halftime, 49-37.
BYU's other starters Thursday were Yoeli Childs, TJ Haws and Connor Harding.
Meanwhile, forwards Dalton Nixon and Kolby Lee played Thursday. Nixon (personal issues) and Lee (illness) did not play in BYU’s regular-season blowout loss at Mississippi State last Saturday.
NICK OF TIME: Junior guard Nick Emery, who served a nine-game suspension to start the season, hasn’t had the impact so far that many thought he would this season.
Going into Thursday's game, Emery was averaging 5.3 points and 18.8 minutes per game while hitting 6 of 19 shots from 3-point range.
“Nick’s expectations of what he thought he would be and where he is is causing him some real anxiety. He wants things to be like they’ve been in basketball for him his whole life,” Rose said before Thursday's game.3 comments on this story
“Right now, he’s still trying to find his way. He’s played six games and we’re 3-3 in those six games. We’re all trying to fix things and Nick’s trying to find where he fits. Hopefully, we can turn a corner here and get him on a trajectory where he’s getting better and better every day in practice and the results will show in a game.”
THE SERIES: Going into Thursday’s contest, BYU leads the all-time series against Pacific, 10-6. The Cougars lost here last season, 67-66, and they fell here in 2014, 89-82.