What a difference a day makes. After going 0 of 5 from the field in yesterday's overtime loss to Harvard, Chase Fischer poured in a career high 41 points on 9 of 14 from beyond the arc as BYU comfortably beat New Mexico by a score of 96-66 on the second day of the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii. Nick Emery added 20 points on 7 of 12 shooting (5 of 10 three-point field goals), and Kyle Collinsworth added 10 points, nine assists, and five steals for the Cougars. Kyle Davis added 10 points and six rebounds, while Jamal Aytes had one of his best performances of the season with nine points on 3 of 3 shooting to go with six rebounds. Zac Seljaas also continued his hot shooting, going 2 for 2 from three point range.
While New Mexico's big three of Cullen Neal, Elijah Brown, and Tim Williams were able to get their points, BYU did a good job of containing the rest of the Lobo players. Neal had 14 points on 4 of 7 shooting but committed eight turnovers, Brown had 16 points but only shot 3 of 11 from the field, and Williams had 16 points and 8 rebounds on 8 of 11 shooting. No other New Mexico player had more than five points.
BYU jumped out to an early lead behind hot shooting from Fischer and Emery, leading 21-9 six and a half minutes in. BYU's lead stayed around ten for most of the half, but the Lobos went on an 8-3 run after Kyle Collinsworth picked up his second foul at the 4:03 mark of the first half. The Cougars went into halftime with a 46-38 lead, but Chase Fischer hit three quick three-pointers to start the half and open BYU's lead up to 15 points less than four minutes into the second half. The Cougars continued to defend fairly well and expanded the lead further, even though they played half of this game without a true center on the floor.
The highlight of the second half was a steal by Kyle Collinsworth as New Mexico was bringing the ball up the court. He then retrieved the ball on the baseline and made a nice pass to a cutting Chase Fischer for the basket and the foul, which pushed BYU's lead to 20 points with just 13 minutes remaining in the game. The game was never in doubt after that point, and the Cougars were able to cruise for a 30-point victory.
It was great to see BYU respond well after the tough overtime loss to Harvard, and the game really illustrated what great shape the Cougar starters are in, as they were able to play so well after logging so many minutes the previous day. BYU will play the winner of the Washington State-Northern Iowa game on Christmas day in the 5th place game of the Diamond Head Classic.