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What you need to Know: BYU vs LMU II (Basketball Edition)

After dropping the first game to the Lions, the Cougars are planning on using their home court advantage to even the series.

Loyola Marymount faces BYU on Saturday
Loyola Marymount faces BYU on Saturday
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

The History

On Saturday BYU and Loyola Marymount will resume the series that dates back to 1937. With eight meetings under their belts, the ninth will break the 4-4 tie in the series. The last meeting took place in December and ended with a Lions win.

Provo, UT 2013 (3-3)

When the Lions visited the Marriott Center in January, the Cougars held them to under 31 percent shooting for the game and held their leading scorer to just nine points. In the 92-51 beating, Matt Carlino scored 21 points while Tyler Haws scored 20. Every Cougar that dressed played in the game and only one did not score.

Los Angeles, CA 2013 (4-3)

In the regular season finale, the Cougars traveled to Gerston Pavilion to try and mimic the blow out that took place in the Marriott Center. Things didn't work out quite the same as the Lions fought to stay in the game and ended up with only a three point loss. The Cougars hit key free-throws to keep or extend their lead. In the 73-70 result, Haws scored 24 points to lead the Cougars while hit all 14 free-throws. Matt Carlino and Brandon Davies each finished with 11.

Los Angeles, CA 2013 (4-4)

In the first meeting of the season, LMU started off strong and never looked back. The Cougars didn't have an answer to Evan Payne who scored 27 points, including 5-9 from behind the arc. Anthony Ireland made his presence known as he scored 14 and dished out 9 assists. Down by 15 at the half the Cougars were unable to cut the lead from double digits and ended with the 11 point lost 87-76.

The Outlook

The Cougars are now on a two game win streak after beating Sand Diego and dishing out some revenge to Pepperdine. Overall the Cougars are playing better and have some positives that they can take into the game on Saturday. Some experts still have the Cougars on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament so there is still time to make some noise.

The Positives

For the first time in quite a while, the Cougars boasted a decent percentage from the free-throw line. With their 23-31 shooting, they hit over 74 percent of their freebies. Even more impressive is the fact that in the second half, when put at the line 20 times, and with the Lions trying to make a run, the Cougars hit 16 for an impressive 80 percent. Haws was his typical 9-9 while Collinsworth hit 5-8 and Carlino hit 7-9.

In an exciting display of hustle, the Cougars won the rebounding battle 40-27. BYU ended with 17 offensive rebounds that lead to 15 second chance points. With Mika out, Collinsworth led the team in rebounds with 10, Austin added nine and Halford pulled down six.

The Negatives

With two of the top scorers for the waves sitting on the bench, the game should have been over early. When the game started it appeared that the Cougars would run away with it, however the defense gave up to many runs and let the Lions stay in the game. After leading 12-0 the Cougars never trailed but they did allow an undermanned Pepperdine team to tie the game a couple times. If the Cougars can't minimize these runs, they could have trouble with some of the games on the road.

The Cougars bench failed to impress when trying to score. The Lions bench outscored the Cougars 20-10 with the Cougars only taking seven shots and only hitting one. Carlino was 1-2, Anson Winder was 0-4, and Frank Bartley IV was 0-1. Carlino saved the bench by hitting seven free-throws to score all 10 points.

The Keys to Watch

When Loyola Marymount has the ball: Watch for Ireland and Payne to carry the bulk of the work but with the Cougars keying in on them, watch out for a bench player to step up and try to make the difference. With the Lions three game losing streak, and their struggles with shooting the ball, look for them to run plays for easy shots to try and build up their confidence. If Mika can't play again, look for the Lions to attack the boards and work for second chance points. Look for the Cougars to force rushed shots and sloppy passes. The Cougars will get their hands in the lanes in hopes of another game of multiple steals.

When BYU has the ball: Watch for the Cougars to play with much more energy and passion. The Cougars feed off the home crowd and this leads to a faster paced game and better shooting. After gaining some confidence in the last two games, the Cougars are going to play a little more confident and this should lead to better shooting than the last time the team met. Watch for the Lions to play tough in the paint and allow the Cougars to shoot the three. Last game the Cougars only shot 30 percent from the three and if the Lions can make them shoot a similar percentage, it will take away some of the advantage the Cougars have at home.

The Broadcasting Details

Time: 7 pm MST

Where: Marriott Center - Provo, UT


Radio (BYU): KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM, BYU Radio-Sirius XM 143

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