Provo, UT — BYU bounced back from a disappointing loss to Long Beach State to beat Adams State 97-56 in the Marriott Center.
BYU and Adams State matched up score for score for the first several possessions as BYU was plagued by turnovers and poor shooting carried over from their game against Long Beach State. During the first 6 possessions, BYU had 3 turnovers as they struggled to get it done on the offensive end. With 11:27 left in the first half, BYU trailed 18-16.
“Coach Rose called us out. We practiced all week on trying to execute and making smart plays and stick to our game plan. Coach had to wake us up and snap us out of it so we could play how we should play,” said Jamal Aytes. “We knew we weren’t playing too well in the first half so it was kind of a gut check. He told us to come out and run our stuff the way we practice it and during the second half, that’s what we did.”
“Being able to keep our turnovers under 12 after having games with 18 and 24 is good for us, especially starting out with having 4 early on in the game,” said Coach Rose.
The Cougars were able to stay in the game early on due to productive play out of the low post, scoring their first 28 points of the game in the paint with 6 different players contributing to the scoring.
Nick Emery said, “We have a lot of really good bigs. We’ve always been a really good 3 point shooting team and one thing we’ve been emphasizing is pounding it in the post. Once you make those shots it gives you some confidence to make those three as well.”
After a tough start, BYU closed the half out with a 22-2 run over the final 8:28 to go up 42-29. They were able to pull away thanks to freshman Nick Emery who finished the half with 16 points, 3 steals, and 2 assists including finishing the half with back-to-back three pointers. Emery scored 14 of the 22 points during BYU’s run.
Emery finished the game with 20 points, 6 assists, and 3 steals.
“I’ve been in kind of a shooting slump and I think that [hitting those two 3’s] got me going a little bit,” said Emery. “It really got us going and gave us a boost in the first half.”
The Cougars carried their momentum into 2nd half opening up with an 11-2 run in the first 4:13 behind 6 points from Corbin Kaufusi. They were able to continue their dominance for a 28-5 run over the first 9:59 of the half.
While BYU got hot, Adams State fell cold hitting only 9/29 shots in the 2nd half. The Grizzlies were led in scoring by Bryan Umoru who finished the game with 12 points followed by Vitor Machado who finished with 8.
The Cougars went with a slight line up shift that was defensive oriented in order to impact the way that Adams State was playing.
“That lineup was put out there defensively to not let them get started. They got off to a good start in the first half and I thought these match ups were the best with Chat and Nick and Kyle did a great job on guarding their best player, Shakir,” said Coach Rose. “We had a nice little run to finish the half, when we started the second half I wanted to have a team that was defensively good match ups for us.”
The Cougars were able to continue to pull away going up 86-54 before emptying the bench and allowing some players further down on the depth chart to get some playing time.
Along with Nick Emery, the Cougars got big production out of Kaufusi who finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds, Kyle Collinsworth who had 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists, and Jamal Aytes who had 11 points.
BYU will play again next week against Mississippi Valley State and Belmont on Wednesday and Saturday, respectively.