PROVO, Utah – Gavin Baxter's career night led BYU to a 67-49 win over Loyola Marymount Saturday night at the Marriott Center.
"I’m really proud of these guys. Their pace in the first half affected us," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "Then we found a way to really get the game going the way we needed it to but not in our normal fashion. It’s a positive sign that our best basketball is still ahead of us. I’m proud of Gavin and happy for Nick and our whole team that competed at a really high level in the second half. We got Thursday night behind us and got on to what was next."
Baxter recorded his first double-double of the season with game and career highs of 25 points and 10 rebounds. Nick Emery contributed 17 points from the bench, going 5 of 5 from behind the 3-point line while adding four steals, a season high.
McKay Cannon led all players in assists as he dished out seven for BYU. Childs recorded nine rebounds and two steals for the Cougars.
An and-one by Baxter gave the Cougars their first lead of the game at 7-6. Childs ended a Cougar scoring drought of five minutes with a jump shot in the paint to close the Lions’ lead to 10-9 with 11 minutes left in the half. BYU's first 3 came from Emery and brought the score within one at 15-14.
A dunk by Childs brought energy to the Cougars despite being down 19-16. Hard drives to the net by LMU helped the Lions maintain their lead over BYU. However, the Cougars continued to attack as Childs wove through three defenders to lay the ball in, bringing the score within one again at 24-23. The Cougars ended the first half down three 26-23 to the Tigers.
BYU opened the second half with back-to-back dunks by Baxter, taking the lead at 27-26. After being fouled on a three, Haws proceeded to make all three from the line, increasing the Cougar lead to 33-30. A made 3 by Baxter gave BYU a nine-point lead with 12 minutes left in the game.
With back-to-back steals from Emery, the Cougars gained momentum and Baxter took off with a dunk over the Lions’ defenders. Holding LMU to a seven-minute scoring drought, BYU completed an 18-0 run and increased its lead to 19 points at 51-32. Baxter and Emery scored eight points apiece during the run which was capped by a layup by Luke Worthington.
The Lions came back and went on a 7-0 run, which was ended by a 3-point jumper from Emery, bringing the score to 58-42 for the Cougars with 4:54 left in the game. As time ran down, Haws wove through multiple defenders to lay the ball in, increasing the BYU lead to 64-47. The Cougars went on to win by a final score of 67-49.
BYU hits the road to play at Portland on Thursday, Feb. 7, at 8 p.m. MST. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 and audio broadcasts can be heard on BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2), BYU Sports Network and KSL (1160 AM/102.7 FM).