The BYU Cougars scored a season high 98 points en route to a 98-85 victory over the Central Michigan Chippewas on Friday night at the Marriott Center. Kyle Collinsworth finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists to record his 8th triple-double of his career. His last assist to reach the triple-double came after Zac Seljaas made his 7th three pointer of the game, which led to an eruption from the BYU fans. Seljaas was on fire for the second game in a row, going 7/9 from beyond the arc. Chase Fischer didn't have the best shooting night, but he was able to attack the basket and still finished with 23 points on 8/17 shooting.
Kyle Davis was the player that put the game out of reach in the final minutes with several jump hooks in the post and a couple of transition dunks, finishing with 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Nick Emery did not shoot well but still finished with 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. He still needs to play under a bit more control but it was nice to see him contribute in so many areas.
Central Michigan was led by Josh Kozinski with 18 points on 6/13 from beyond the arc, but he missed his last few attempts as BYU put the game out of reach. John Simons hit 4/6 three pointers (all in the first half) for 14 points. Braylon Rayson and Rayshawn Simmons rounded out the CMU double figure scorers with 16 and 15 points respectively.
This game was a long range shootout from start to finish as the two teams combined to go 31 for 67 from the 3 point line. Both teams were able to dribble penetrate and kick the ball out for open shots, but BYU was able to sustain their accuracy a little bit longer to pull away in the second half. Eventually, BYU's 1-3-1 zone was effective in closing out to shooters, and the Chippewas didn't have many other answers offensively.
A notable omission from the game recap up to this point is Corbin Kaufusi, who did not play at all in the second half and finished the game with just two points from the free throw line. To put it simply, Central Michigan's big men all played on the perimeter and shot jump shots, and Kaufusi wasn't mobile enough to chase them around. Davis and Nate Austin played the center spot in the second half and did a much better job getting out to shooters. CMU is a unique team and Kaufusi will likely see more minutes in the Diamond Head Classic next week.
Central Michigan is one of the most prolific 3 point shooting teams in the country and BYU had trouble getting them out of their comfort zone. But the Cougars got stops down the stretch when it mattered the most, and did a good job closing out the game. I'm sure Dave Rose will want to see better defense, but he can't be too disappointed in the outcome of this game.
BYU will look to take some momentum into their first game of the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii on Tuesday at 4:30 PM Eastern/2:30 PM Mountain against Harvard on ESPNU.