PROVO – Nick Emery’s sharp-shooting helped BYU cruise past San Diego 82-70 Thursday night at the Marriott Center.
“It was a hard-fought game,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “I think both teams were really aggressive, and it’s nice to see Nick really aggressive offensively. Our guys recognized that and went to him. Overall, it’s nice to get a big win and we’re looking forward to Saturday.”
Emery led the Cougars with 26 points. TJ Haws contributed 12 points and a career-high seven assists. Yoeli Childs collected 12 points and eight boards and Eric Mika had a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Elijah Bryant rounded out the effort with 15 points and eight boards in the win.
As a team, BYU (19-9, 10-5 West Coast Conference) collected 28 points in the paint compared to just 18 for San Diego (11-16, 4-11 WCC). The Cougars also had a 15-6 advantage in points off of turnovers.
“I’m feeling a lot better. I got open shots and was able to knock them down,” Emery said. “We were stagnant for a little bit at the beginning of the game, but then knocked a few down and got going.”
Haws buried a 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down to give BYU the first points of the game, but San Diego followed with seven-straight points to take a 7-3 lead.
An Emery trey tied the game at 11-all and back-to-back Childs buckets extended the lead at 17-11 with 11 minutes left in the half.
A Bryant jumper gave BYU a double-digit advantage at 24-13, and a behind-the-back Emery pass ended in a Childs dunk, forcing a Torero timeout – trailing 34-19.
San Diego later rallied, going on a 9-2 run in just over a minute, to come back within 11, down 39-28.
With the Cougars going without a field goal for over five minutes, the Toreros went on a 10-1 run. Haws hit a long-distance 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer, however, to help his team go up 45-38 at the break.
Emery scored the first five points coming out from halftime en route to a 10-3 run, putting BYU up 55-41.
San Diego then cut the lead to nine at 58-49 after a 3-pointer, but the Cougars rolled from there – going on a 13-5 rally to extend their lead at 71-54 with under eight minutes remaining.
Despite double-digit fouls called on both sides, BYU maintained its advantage for the rest of the game, winning 82-70.
The Cougars stay at home next, facing No. 22/21 Saint Mary’s Saturday, Feb. 18, beginning at 8 p.m. MST. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 and broadcast on the Cougar IMP Sports Network, KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM and BYU Radio –Sirius XM 143.
Nick Emery made 5 of 7 from 3-point range to tie his season high in made 3s, which he has done four times. It also marked the 10th time this season he’s hit at least three 3-pointers.
With 26 points, Emery reached the 20-point mark for the sixth time this season and the first time since Jan. 12 against San Francisco.
TJ Haws scored 12 points to reach double figures for the 21st time this season. His three 3-pointers gave him at least three 3s in 14 games.
Haws recorded a new career high of seven assists. He has now dished out more than five assists in nine games this season.
Davin Guinn tied his career high with two steals.
Eric Mika had 14 points on the night. Dating back to the last game of his freshman season, Mika has scored in double figures in 29-straight games. Along with his scoring total, his 10 rebounds upped his season total to 16 double-doubles.
With 15 points, Elijah Bryant made it three-straight games and 10 times on the season with at least 10 points.
For the third-straight game, TJ Haws, Nick Emery, Elijah Bryant, Yoeli Childs and Eric Mika got the start for the Cougars.
After making 2 of 10 field goals to start the game, BYU hit 13 shots in a row to lead 39-22 with 5:08 on the first-half clock.
Haws, Emery, Bryant, Childs and Mika all scored at least 10 points to give BYU its first game with five double-figure scorers since Jan. 7 against Pacific.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.