BYU Gets Tough Victory over Short-Handed LMU


Jan 10, 2015; Provo, UT, USA; Loyola Marymount Lions guard Chase Flint (23) gets past Brigham Young Cougars guard Skyler Halford (23) and up the court during the first half at Marriott Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Haws scored 26 points as BYU struggled to put LMU away in an 85-72 victory on Saturday night at the Marriott Center.  The Lions were playing without their leading scorer Evan Payne (20.0 PPG), who missed the game for an undisclosed reason.  BYU jumped out to a quick lead but LMU used their size and length on the interior to grab 15 offensive rebounds, as they simply out-hustled BYU for most of the game.  One play that sticks out to me was an errant Cougar pass that went into the backcourt, where Kyle Collinsworth just stood there while Chase Flint hustled after the ball for LMU to create a transition layup for his team.  While BYU had too much offensive fire power for LMU to stay with for 40 minutes, the Lions probably made BYU fans feel very nervous throughout the game.

If there is such a thing as a horrible 13 point victory, this was it for BYU.  LMU came into the game averaging 62 points per game (with Evan Payne scoring 20 of them), yet they put up 72 points without him, led by a very balanced attack on offense.  Five Lions scored in double figures: Marin Mornar (16), Godwin Okonji (14), David Humphries (12), Ayodeji Egbeyemi (11), and Matt Hayes (11).  Hayes almost single-handedly kept the Lions close in the second half with his 3/3 shooting from downtown.  They also got terrific play from the senior and Utah native Chase Flint, who dished out 8 assists and committed just one turnover.  Without their star, the Lions were able to move the ball and spread the wealth on offense, which worked out very well for the most part.

Tyler Haws broke the BYU career made free throw record tonight, passing Jimmer Fredette, while also shooting an accurate 9/16 from the field.  Anson Winder did not share the efficiency that Haws had, scoring 15 points on just 5/14 shooting to go with 5 assists.  Kyle Collinsworth and Chase Fischer both had solid bounce back games after their poor outings against Pepperdine.  KC finished with 13 points (4/5 shooting), 10 rebounds, 4 steals and 8 assists, while Fischer scored 19 points on 5/7 from beyond the arc and dished out 4 assists.  Skyler Halford was also a big spark off the bench, scoring 9 points on 3/6 from beyond the arc to go with 4 assists, 2 steals, and only 1 turnover.

Stat of the Night

BYU had an unfathomable 25 assists on 28 made field goals, which was a key factor in their ability to pull out the close victory.  Many times the ball was swung from one side of the floor to the other on the perimeter leading to an open three pointer.  BYU has so many playmakers on offense, as four different players had at least 4 assists.  The Cougars once again got exploited on the interior, but their offense is often times enough to give them a high scoring victory.

Moving Forward

BYU should be moderately concerned about the state of their team after the loss to Pepperdine and a close game against a team that was coming into the game 4-12 and 0-4 in the conference, and without their best player who scores nearly a third of his team’s points.  BYU will look for more sharpness on the road next week at Pacific and then a crucial game at Saint Mary’s.  LMU should feel confident that their first conference win is right around the corner after a strong team effort against a talented Cougars squad.  The Lions play Portland and #6 Gonzaga at home next week.