BYU basketball uses strong second half to beat Nicholls State

For the primary time this season, BYU didn’t want a shot within the ultimate seconds to come out on high.

Instead, the Cougars secured an 87-73 victory Saturday night time on the Marriott Center, defeating Nicholls State to earn their third win of the yr.

The double-digit win provides BYU its largest margin of victory on the season after it wanted some late-game heroics to pull out its first two wins.

The Cougars stored their unblemished house file intact, shifting to 3-0 in Provo.

“I really feel like we did a very good job sharing the ball,” place to begin guard Rudi Williams mentioned. “We made a bunch of catch-and-shoot 3s. Coach all the time emphasizes … making two defenders guard one so we are able to get open pictures, simpler pictures.”

Another essential piece to BYU’s victory was its rebounding, because the Cougars ended the night time plus-23 on the glass.

Gideon George completed the night with 10 rebounds to cleared the path for the Cougars, and freshman guard Richie Saunders muscled down 9.

“We had 11 offensive rebounds within the first half, and it most likely saved us,” BYU coach Mark Pope mentioned. “I’m tremendous pleased with the blokes’ effort there, and that is one thing that is actually essential. We’ve acquired to make the most of that the place we are able to.”

After giving up 40 factors within the first half, the Cougars’ protection stiffened, holding the Colonels to 33 factors and a 33.3 subject objective proportion following the break.

BYU additionally stored Nicholls State guard Micah Thomas in verify. The junior guard entered Saturday because the nation’s greatest 3-point shooter, however was held to 11 factors and went 0 for 1 from past the arc in opposition to the Cougars.

Still, BYU went to the locker room going through a 3-point deficit, marking the primary time the Cougars have trailed this season heading to the break.

An 11-0 run early within the second half helped BYU get the lead, nonetheless, and it was a lead the Cougars would preserve for good.

BYU scored 50 factors within the second half en route to its most efficient outing of the season.

“I truly beloved our pictures tonight,” Pope mentioned. “I assumed the blokes did an unbelievable job incomes pictures for one another. … I might attribute it to the offensive glass and the tempo of the sport. (Those) have been the 2 issues that allowed this recreation to be a excessive scoring recreation.”

The Cougars have been led on the night time by Fousseyni Traore and George, who every scored 15 factors, giving BYU a fourth completely different excessive scorer by its first 4 video games.

Spencer Johnson, BYU’s main scorer coming into the night time, didn’t rating in double figures for the primary time this season, however 4 different Cougars did, as Williams and Atiki Ally Atiki every scored 10 factors to go together with Traore and George’s large nights.

Ally Atiki’s 10 factors is a season excessive for the large man who has seen his minutes enhance during the last two video games.

“I assumed Atiki’s endurance after the catch was unbelievable,” Pope mentioned. “His endurance and poise and his capability to shield the ball after the catch I assumed was spectacular. I used to be so impressed with him tonight. I assumed he had a big-time recreation.”

Despite all of the positives, BYU once more struggled to deal with the ball, turning it over 21 occasions. The Cougars have but to finish a contest with fewer turnovers than assists.

“We are making progress in that division,” Williams mentioned of the turnovers. “We’re getting higher at that.”

With the win, BYU improved to 2-0 all time versus Nicholls State, with the 2 colleges’ solely different assembly coming in 1993.

Saturday’s contest was the Colonels’ third loss as they proceed to search for their first win of the season.

Next up for BYU is USC within the Battle 4 Atlantis in The Bahamas. The Cougars will likely be a part of the motion for 3 consecutive days, beginning with a recreation in opposition to the USC Trojans on Wednesday.

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