MALIBU, Calif. – Despite three players scoring in double figures, BYU basketball fell 71-65 to Pepperdine on the road Saturday night in Firestone Fieldhouse.
BYU (14-7, 5-3 West Coast Conference) and Pepperdine (13-7, 6-3 WCC) played a tight game that saw 18 lead changes and 17 ties. The 48 percent shooting from the Waves gave them the edge over the Cougars’ 36 percent shooting.
Kyle Collinsworth led BYU in scoring with 18 points. He also had seven rebounds and three assists. Nick Emery had 17 points, including four 3-pointers, and Chase Fischer had 15 points. Nate Austin led all players in rebounds with 11 to go along with his seven points.
"We made some great plays and got them on their heels at times, but we weren’t consistent enough to actually (hold) a lead," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "We got it back to where it was even and then they just kind of blitzed us.”
Pepperdine scored first with a three, but Fischer responded with a 3-pointer of his own to tie it up 3-3 with 18:44 to go in the half. The two teams would go on to tie nine more times in the half. Emery drilled a 3-pointer at the 11:39 mark to tie it at 14-14 before the Waves answered with a bucket on the other end to regain the lead.
Fischer hit another trey to put the Cougars up 20-18 with 8:50 to go until the break. Neither team was able to go on a big run to close out the half, but Pepperdine did hold BYU scoreless for three minutes to take another two-point lead.
Corbin Kaufusi grabbed an offensive board and put it up for a quick basket to end the Cougars’ scoring drought at the 3:38 mark and tie the game again, 24-24. Pepperdine and BYU matched each other’s points two more times before the break with the Waves getting the 30-28 edge at halftime.
Emery got the BYU offense going in the second half with a step-back bank shot, sparking a 6-0 run, capped off by a bucket from Austin, to go up 34-32 with 16:53 left to play. Pepperdine responded with four quick points of its own to take back a two-point lead until another bucket from Collinsworth tied the game at 36-36.
The Waves scored four unanswered points before Emery connected on two 3-pointers to make it 47-46 with 9:53 to play. After a 10-1 run by Pepperdine, Collinsworth sparked BYU to go on run of its own. The Cougars scored seven unanswered points to take the 59-58 lead with 4:01 left in the game. The run was capped off by a steal from Emery that resulted in a three-point play.
In the last three minutes, the Waves went on a 9-0 run to go up 67-61. Collinsworth and Fischer both made a pair of free throws, but Pepperdine was able to hold off BYU and win the game, 71-65.
BYU returns to the Marriott Center on Thursday for the first time since Jan. 9 to play Loyola Marymount at 9 p.m. MST. The game will be televised on ESPNU and broadcast on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM and on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143.