Halford's hot shooting leads BYU to victory

(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

BYU vs. San Diego Notes and Quotes

BYU vs. San Diego Box Score

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PROVO, Utah –  Skyler Halford got his first start and came through in a  big way to lead BYU to a 87-53 victory over West Coast Conference foe San Diego Saturday night in the Marriott Center.

"That was a great effort from our guys," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "I think that the focus that they had in practice for the last three days - kind of the intensity and urgency that they played with - they carried it over to the game tonight. I thought defensively it was our best effort of the year. Hopefully we can build on this because it was a well-executed gameplan from start to finish. We shared the ball on offense, got open shots and made open shots. I thought defensively we made them take tough shots and that's a big key for us."

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Halford scored a career and game high 28 points to go with three assists. Kyle Collinsworth had another solid game with 12 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Tyler Haws and Eric Mika joined them in double figures with 17 and 13, respectively.

BYU (9-7, 1-2) shrugged off their cold shooting on the road hitting 53.4 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from behind the arc. The Cougars outrebounded the Toreros (9-7, 0-3) 45-27 and assisted on 25 of their 31 made field goals. They also had a strong defensive game holding San Diego to 34.5 percent from the field and 11.8 percent from behind the arc.

The game got off to a frenzied pace with both teams scoring on the first five possessions of the game. From there, BYU took over on a 10-2 run to take the 15-8 lead with just under 16 minutes left in the half. San Diego answered with a 9-0 run of their own to take the lead at 17-15 with 11:50 remaining until halftime.

With San Diego leading 17-15 with 11:50 until half, Halford connected on two shots from behind the arc and the Cougars used a 14-2 run to take the game’s first double-digit lead at 29-19. The Cougars would lead the rest of the way.

After the 14-2 run, Halford went off for another seven points to lead BYU on a 12-2 run to extend the lead to 18 at 41-23 at the half.

Halford led all scorers at the break with his career-high in a half of 15 points. As a team, BYU shot 58.6 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from behind the arc. The defense proved just as effective holding the Toreros to 32.1 percent from the field and 18.2 percent from downtown.

The Cougars started the second half the same way they ended the first with a 10-2 run to push the lead to 51-25 with 16:56 left in the game. BYU continued to pile it on going on a 6-0 run to more than double up San Diego at 61-30 with 13:36 left to play. The lead grew as large as 37 and the Cougars coasted to their first WCC victory of the year.

The Cougars will take the court next on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. MST against Pepperdine in the Marriott Center. The game will be broadcast live by BYUtv.

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