BYU Basketball came into Saturday needing to win against Pacific, but the Tigers weren’t going to let that happen without a fight.
Pacific led BYU 15-9 with12:47 left in the first half. That was the biggest score differential between the Cougars and the Tigers in a back and forth cat fight Saturday night until 3:32 left in the game when the Cougars took a 65-57 lead off of a Luke Worthington layup. There were six lead changes and nine ties during the game. More than 80% of the game was a one possession lead for either team. In the end BYU was able to take a 69-59 win in the Marriott Center to improve to 12-2 at home this season.
Nick Emery started off his night cold picking up more fouls than points until there was less than ten minutes left in the game. When the game seemed to start trending towards the Tigers, Coach Rose made the decision to put the junior back in the game with 9:02 remaining despite his four fouls and cold shooting. Immediately he became a factor pulling down the next rebound and then taking a critical charge on defense. Down by four, Emery also hit a momentum changing three pointer. Emery finished with with just eight points, but it was two three pointers late that seemed to be the difference and the spark that the team needed to finally break the game open in the final minutes of the game.
Yoeli Childs added another double-double to his impressive season resume scoring 19 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. He only had one block, but it came at a critical point with 41 seconds remaining that seemed to seal the win for the Cougars.
Roberto Gallinat was Pacific’s leading scorer for the Tigers with 15 points on a tough 3-8 shooting night. The Tigers will remain in ninth place in the WCC and a 14-14 overall record.
The win will keep the Cougars in second place in the WCC standings behind Gonzaga, and barring a loss by Gonzaga against Saint Mary’s, they will have a 1.5 game lead over Gaels. BYU has won six of their last eight games and sit at 8-3 in WCC play and 16-10 overall. The Cougars will play at San Diego on Valentines day.