BYU opened up the game on a 4-0 run behind a 15-foot jumper by Kyle Collinsworth and two made free throws by sophomore center Corbin Kaufusi. After two Chippewa baskets, the Cougars extended their lead to eight, 13-5, on a 3-point field goal by Chase Fischer.
At the 10:44 mark, Central Michigan cut the lead to two, 18-16, on a made 3-point basket by John Simons. BYU then extended its lead back to five, 21-16, on a 3-point field goal of its own by Zac Seljaas.
Behind a Nick Emery layup and another Seljaas trey, the Cougars pulled ahead 26-18 with seven minutes to go in the half. Central Michigan then went on a 9-3 run, making three 3-pointers on three straight possessions, to cut the deficit to two, with the score 29-27 in BYU's favor.
With three minutes to go in the half, the Chippewas tied the game at 35-all and then took their first lead of the contest, 38-36. Teams went into the break tied at 44-44.
After 20 minutes of play, 18 3-point field goals were made between both teams, with the Chippewas shooting 50 percent and the Cougars 44.4 from behind the arc. Emery led all BYU scorers with 12 points at the break, while Collinsworth finished the first half with five points, a game-high seven rebounds and a team-high five assists.