LOS ANGELES – The BYU men’s basketball team fell 87-76 to the Loyola Marymount Lions to open conference play on Saturday.
"It was pretty obvious what happened," BYU basketball coach Dave Rose said. "They came out and spanked us early. We had a hard time making shots. They did a good job defensively. They were on fire and we missed some assignments defensively and didn't challenge like we should. Before we knew it the score was spread pretty good and the energy that was being played with was one-sided."
Kyle Collinsworth led the team with 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists, while Eric Mika ended with 17 points and seven rebounds. Matt Carlino finished with 13 points and Tyler Haws added 11 points and six rebounds of his own.
Frank Bartley IV finished with six points, seven rebounds and four assists off the bench.
BYU drops to an 8-6 overall record and 0-1 in West Coast Conference play, while LMU improves to 9-4 overall and 1-0 in conference. BYU kept the Lions to a 42 shooting percentage and outrebounded them 42-39.
The Cougars got off to a slow start, trailing 21-7 as LMU went on a 17-2 run. Mika put up the first point for BYU with a free throw followed by a baseline jumper by Carlino two minutes in. Haws ended LMU’s run with a drive to the rim at the 12:49 mark to put up his first points. Collinsworth recorded a block with 8:25 left in the first half, which was followed by a layup by Bartley in transition.
With under five minutes to play, Collinsworth’s steal led to his own layup in transition to chip away LMU’s lead 35-24. Haws made a 3-pointer with 2:10 remaining in the half to cut the deficit to 42-31. After LMU went on a 6-0 run, Collinsworth answered with a dunk for a 48-33 halftime deficit.
Nate Austin started the second half scoring down low followed by Collinsworth’s three-point play to cut the deficit 54-38. The Lions grabbed a 21-point lead at the 14:05 mark, but was answered with four consecutive points by Anson Winder on the fast break and Mika in the post to make it a 16-point game.
With 10:10 remaining in the game, Collinsworth went down the lane in transition for a layup to keep it 67-51. Haws’ free throws cut LMU’s lead to 12 points, but BYU was never able to make it all the way back.
"Everybody said how difficult our schedule was in the preseason," Rose said. "The bottom line is we told the guys what's really hard is what we're about to jump into here. It's way more difficult than the games we just played. These league games everybody scouts you, everybody knows you. They know your tendencies. They know how you want to play and they try to make you play a different way."
The Cougars stay on the road to play Pepperdine on Monday at 7 p.m. PST. The game will be televised on TWC and Root Sports and broadcast on the Cougar IMG Sports Network on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM. A live video stream will be available on TheW.tv.