Since being held to a season-low in points in their upset loss to Pepperdine last week, the BYU Cougars have bounced back by returning to their normal ways of being led by a high-powered offense. It was on full display on Thursday as the Cougars put up 90+ points for the 9th time this season in a 93-80 win over the Pacific Tigers on the road in Stockton.
Dec 23, 2014; Provo, UT, USA; Brigham Young Cougars guard Kyle Collinsworth (5) dribbles the ball during the game against the Massachusetts Minutemen in the second half at Marriott Center. Brigham Young Cougars won the game in overtime 77-71. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Collinsworth continues to look like a West Coast Conference Player of the Year candidate as he had his fourth triple-double in just the past 12 games with 17 points, 11 assists, and 11 rebounds. That ties a NCAA record for the most triple-doubles in a single season, and he has plenty of time left to get the 5th and break the record.
Collinsworth was one of four Cougars in double figures along with Chase Fischer, Skyler Halford, and Tyler Haws who a had a game-high 26 points. The Cougars were hot all night shooting 53.8% from field goal range and 50% from three point range.
BYU is however still struggling inside. Despite winning the rebounding battle, they were outscored 40-26 in the paint. Eric Thompson had a good night inside for Pacific with 13 points and 6 rebounds, and he was a key factor as the Tigers stayed close to the Cougars until late in the first half.
Thompson was one of four Tigers in double figures along with Gabriel Aguirre, Dulani Robinson, and T.J. Wallace who had a team-high 18 points. The Tigers put up their second best total of the season, but they could not keep pace with three point shooting of the Cougars. Pacific started 0-9 from three point range and finished just 4-18 compared to 10-20 for the Cougars.
With the win, the Cougars improve to 15-5 overall and 5-2 in conference play. They have won two in a row and improve to a perfect 5-0 in away games. They have lost three games at home and two at a neutral site during the Maui Invitational earlier this season.
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Pacific falls to 9-9 overall and 1-5 in conference play. They have dropped three in a row and fall to 4-5 at home this season. Their only WCC win so far was a road victory at last place Loyola Marymount on New Year’s Day. The Lions got their first conference win of the year tonight against Portland.
BYU visits Saint Mary’s in a critical matchup on Saturday. The Gaels improved to a perfect 6-0 in WCC play with a win over San Diego tonight. The winner of Saturday’s game will be in prime position to finish 2nd in the conference and possibly try to chase down Gonzaga for the WCC Championship.
Pacific hosts a struggling San Diego team on Saturday. The Toreros have lost two in a row and are just 2-5 in conference play.