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BYU vs Pacific recap: Defense and second half shooting leads Cougars over the Tigers

The outlook of the game did not look good early when BYU came out struggling to find basket, but consistent defense, first half free throw shooting, and a second half 3-point barrage from Chase Fischer and Zac Seljaas led BYU to an comfortable victory at Pacific.

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Fischer and Zac Seljaas combined to shoot 10/17 from 3-point range as the BYU Cougars earned a quality road victory over the Pacific Tigers by a score of 81-67.  Fischer led all BYU scorers with 23 points, eclipsing the 20-point plateau for the fourth game in a row.  Kyle Collinsworth took advantage of BYU reaching the bonus early in the first half, and finished with an efficient 22 points on 5/8 from the field and 12/17 from the free throw line.  He also added 8 assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals, one which led to a transition dunk and an old fashioned 3 point play.  Seljaas continued his unfathomable 3 point shooting, finishing with 14 points on 4/6 from beyond the arc.  Nate Austin finished with 4 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks, and led the BYU team in +/- and +20, proving his value on the court despite his limited scoring opportunities.  While Kyle Davis did not reach double figures in scoring for the first time all season, he also contributed on defense with 3 blocks.

Pacific's Jacob Lampkin hit some nice jump shots, and led the Tigers in scoring with 14 points on 7/8 shooting.  David Taylor and Ilias Theodoru rounded out the Pacific players in double figures with 13 and 12 points respectively.  The Tigers' top three scorers, Alec Kobre, Ray Bowles, and TJ Wallace came into today's contest combining to average 39 points per game, but BYU managed to limit the trio to 22 points on 6/17 shooting.

While the Cougars struggled to find their shot early on, a key stretch at the end of the first half gave BYU a lot of momentum heading into halftime.  With BYU down by 2, Nate Austin tapped out a missed free throw leading to a Chase Fischer 3-pointer to give BYU the lead.  Collinsworth hit 2 free throws on the following possession.  Fischer proceeded to hit another three at the buzzer to give BYU a 34-28 lead at the end of the half.

The Cougars utilized a 1-3-1 defense in the second half with Collinsworth at the top, which really flustered the Pacific offense and led to transition opportunities and a ton of quick threes from Fischer and Seljaas.  From that point on, the Tigers did not have an answer on either end of the floor, and despite playing the foul game far longer than they should have, never really made the game close again.

While the Cougars are still being plagued by slow starts, it was impressive to see how they handled adversity on the road.  BYU returns home next week to host Santa Clara and San Francisco, which are both must win games because a trip to Spokane to play Gonzaga will follow.