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BYU Basketball final: Strong second half propel Cougars over Colonels 90-76

Three days after playing three games in Maui, the Cougars overcame tired legs and timzone fluxes to beat the Colonels.

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

In the first game back after the trip to Maui, the BYU Cougars looked a bit lackluster against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. The Cougars didn't look to have their legs fully back in the first half, after time changes and three games already this week, but the second half was a different story. After scoring 58 points in the second half, the Cougars walked away with a 90-76 win and a 5-2 record.

1st Half

The first half didn't end up being the shootout that everyone expected with two top 15 scoring teams, but it was still a close contest. Chase Fischer started the scoring for the Cougars with an early three-point shot, but for the next few minutes it would be all Tyler Haws. With back and forth scoring the Colonels would stay right with the Cougars, even with Haws scoring the next nine BYU points. Fischer would come out and hit two more three pointers. BYU would soon earn their largest lead of the half with a 23-17, with Haws and Fischer scoring 20 of the 23 points. The game would get stagnant at that point as turnovers began to pile up for both teams. BYU ended the half with nine turnovers, after averaging only 11 per game. BYU would suddenly find themselves down 27-26 just before the half, but would end up with a 32-30 lead going into the locker room. Haws and Fischer would lead the Cougars with 11 points each at the half.

2nd Half

BYU would come out scorching in the second half as a Fischer bucket and a Haws three pointer would get BYU back to a six point lead at 39-33. Kyle Collinsworth would give the Cougars their largest lead of the game at eight after hitting two free throws. A Haws steal and dunk would cap a 9-0 run for the Cougars and with just over 16 minutes left in the game, the Cougars led 43-33. After a couple of traded threes the wheels fell off for the Colonels as BYU began to dominate and with 10 minutes left as they managed 8-11 from behind the arc up to that point in the second half. The score would reflect the Cougars shooting as they carried a 26-point lead at 66-41. Skyler Halford was big during the three point barrage as he hit three of them. At the under eight minute timeout, the Cougars led by 22 and were on a 39-19 run in the second half. The pace would slow down a bit and the teams traded points following the timeout, but BYU was comfortable with their lead, and their defense against a team that averaged 94 points per game. Over the next four minutes the Colonels would only cut the Cougars lead by two points, and Dave Rose was finally able to clear his bench with comfort. The Colonels did make the score look better after a number of points in the last two minutes, but the game really wasn't in doubt during the half. Four Cougars found themselves in double figures tonight as Haws led all scorers with 26, Fischer added 20, Anson Winder added 19, and Collinsworth added 11.

Next game

BYU will next travel to Logan on Tuesday, December 2nd for a 7 pm tip against in state rival Utah State. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.