Salt Lake City, UT – BYU Basketball won their 11th straight game at the Vivint Smart Home Arena with a final score of 73-68 over in-state rival Weber State.
BYU was able to play consistently well for two consecutive halves – something that they’ve struggled to do up until this point of the season – outscoring Weber State in both the first and second half en route to the victory.
Both teams played extremely well on offense and they matched each other point-for-point early on. In the first half, the Cougars were able to creating some breathing room after the first media timeout where they opened up with a 9-0 run to pull ahead 18-12.
Weber State was able to keep themselves in the game with hot shooting and finished the first half an impressive 16-24 from the field. The Wildcats cooled off late in the half, missing 4 of their last 5 shots which BYU was able to take advantage of and made 4 of their last 5 attempts, allowing the Cougars to pull ahead 39-37 heading into halftime.
Coach Rose said, “Weber State wasn’t missing any shots in the first half. Forcing turnovers was huge for us to stay in this game.”
Part of the reason that Weber State was able to find success was due to the absence of two BYU Cougars – Nick Emery and Jamal Aytes – which threw a wrench into the rotation. Emery was suspended for the Weber State following an altercation against Utah for which he was ejected and suspended for today’s game whereas Aytes injured his ankle while defending on the perimeter and will miss the next several games.
Chase Fischer took on the mantle to lead the team and finished the game with 21 points on 7-12 shooting including 4-8 beyond the arc – his third straight game of scoring 20 or more points after struggling to with his shot early on in the season – Fischer was able to put together two strong halves scoring 10 points in the first half and 11 in the second.
“I think that people on the outside, consistency looks to be easy. But when you’re playing good teams like Utah and Weber State, it’s tough to be consistent because the gam is different every night,” said Fischer, “I made it a point of myself to be consistent and we as a team did that so we could put together two solid halves and get the win.”
BYU began to slowly pull away in the 2nd half opening up with a 9-2 run to build an 11 point lead but Weber State refused to give up and kept the score from getting out of hand.
With less than a minute remaining in the half and trailing by eight, Joel Bolomboy scored five of Weber State’s final eight points while BYU score four points – all from the FT line – to bring the game as close as 71-68 before Kyle Collinsworth went to the line with :10.6 seconds remaining. Collinsworth was able to convert on both FT attempts to close the game.
Weber State was led in scoring by Jeremy Senglin who finished the game with 20 points on 6-11 shooting including 4-7 beyond the arc – on pace for his average this season. Senglin sparked the Wildcat offense by hitting huge 3-pointers to keep them in the game.
“The last 5 games that Weber’s played has been like a video game, Senglin is shooting 60% from the 3. They have three other guys that can spread the floor and shoot it,” said Coach Rose. “This is a really good win for our team and I’ll tell ya, when you take a really hot team who’s coming off of a tournament win like they are, and you consider the issues we’re going through as a team, this is big.”
In addition to Chase Fischer, BYU was led by Kyle Collinsworth and Kyle Davis who each finished with 15 points. Collinsworth also added 10 assists and 4 rebounds on the game and Davis added 8 boards of his own.
BYU will head back home to face rival Utah State on Wednesday at the Marriott Center and will have the services of Nick Emery back for that game.