One of the most used coaching axioms is "basketball is a game of runs." No game this season has epitomized this more than the game against Belmont. The first half had two huge runs, the first BYU was on the wrong end of as Belmont hit three-point shot after three-point shot to open up an eleven point lead. BYU countered with some strong defense leading to some fast break points and timely back to back three-point makes by Jake Toolson to crawl back into the game and enter the half down by only two points. The second half also had two runs, BYU was powered by an almost triple-double by Kyle Collinsworth (26 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds) and five three-pointers by Chase Fischer (19 points) to go up by 18 points. Belmont made a small run, pushing the deficit to about 10, but the game ended up with BYU on top winning 95-81.
The real story of this game was the three-point shooting by both teams. BYU shot 13 for 27 and Belmont also shot fairly well going 11 for 31. In the first half, the teams traded off who was hitting multiple three-point buckets in a row, but during both of BYU's big runs they were able to force Belmont to take contested three-point shots. Another defensive tactic that worked fairly well was denying Craig Bradshaw, who ended the game with 26 points, shooting 9 of 12 overall and 6 of 9 from three.
Even though the final score ended up fairly high, the defense for BYU was very good at times especially when they needed it. There was point when the Cougars were down 11 in the first half and it felt as if things could get out of hand, but a couple missed shots and a huge steal by Nick Emery (another great scoring night with 27 on 9 on 17 shooting and 5 threes) started a run that allowed BYU to actually take the lead. The game went back and forth for the rest of the half. BYU started the second half strong defensively, which allowed them to build the big lead of 18.
BYU's frontcourt enjoyed another strong game with Corbin Kaufusi scoring four points to go along with six rebounds and Kyle Davis having another double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Belmont's Mack Mercer came off the bench and played his first game of the year with 16 points. Both coaches primarily used their starters as this game was back and forth and within distance of a comeback for almost the whole game.
This was a good win for the Cougars and they take on rival Utah on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.