The BYU basketball team overcame a shaky start to defeat Adams State 97–56 Friday night at the Marriott Center.
Going back and forth in the first half, the Grizzlies hung with the Cougars with some sharp shooting. But BYU freshman Nick Emery came off the bench and helped get the offense going.
“He came and he really was aggressive offensively,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “Not only did he make some big baskets for us, but I really like the way he shared the ball. … He’s a really good shooter and right now he’s just a little bit hesitant and hopefully the more he plays the more confident he’ll get and that will become a staple part of his game.”
With two minutes left in the first half, BYU finally started to break away from Adams States. Riding Emery’s fire — ignited by solid defensive efforts that led to a steal and an assist — BYU changed the point-to-point game. Then to close out the first half Emery hit back-to-back threes, both off passes from senior Chase Fischer.
“I’ve been in a shooting slump and that got me going a little bit,” Emery said. “It’s fun playing with Chase because we are always look for each other because we know how good of shooters we are. I think that just boosted our confidence.”
“I’ve been in a shooting slump and that got me going a little bit. It’s fun playing with Chase because we are always look for each other because we know how good of shooters we are. I think that just boosted our confidence.” —Nick Emery, BYU freshman guard
Coming into the second half, Rose wanted to keep Adams State from coming out shooting strong in the second half like they had in the first half. Emery along with freshman Jordan Chatman were added to the starting lineup for the second half to help the defense.
Adams State could never close the margin in the second half as they shot 27.7 percent from the field compared to BYU’s 59.4 percent.
BYU’s shooting percentage can be attributed to the fact that most of their shots were in the paint — there were 68 shots in the paint.
“We’ve got a lot of good bigs, and we’ve always been a 3-point shooting team,” Emery said. “That’s another thing we’ve been emphasizing this week is pounding in the post. Once you’re making shots that gives you confidence to make those 3s.”
Rose added that after Spain the coaching staff knew there would be an offensive shift this year that required more guard involvement.
“After we got back from Spain, we felt like the strength of this team would be a little bit different. Besides Jamaal (Aytes) — Jamaal is playing his first minutes of college — Nate and Corbin and Kyle have a lot of experienced minutes. We need those guys to be good for us on both ends of the floor, but especially on the offensive end. They give confidence to these young guys.”
Of the big guys, Corbin Kaufusi had 14 points, Aytes had 11 points and Kyle Davis had his second double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Emery led the team with 20 points and 6 assists.
BYU’s next home game is Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. against Mississippi Valley State.