PROVO, Utah – Nick Emery’s hot shooting helped BYU men’s basketball 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."â€‹
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.
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.