You wouldn't have guessed the game started slowly on offense if you watched offensive assault that Brigham Young and Central Michigan opened up on the baskets in BYU's 98-85 win over CMU on Friday night. CMU and BYU unleashed a barrage of bombs from beyond the arc, 18 combined in fact in the first half and 31 for the game.
The second half wasn't any more tame despite there being fewer shots made from the dark side of the moon.
With the Cougars down 56-54 after a John Simons' 3-pointer, Freshman Zac Seljaas went on to score BYU's next 11 points to give his team a 65-57 lead. The freshman hit three triples over that stretch, helping BYU to extend its lead, and by the end of the night, it's home winning streak to 12 games (6-0 this season). Seljaas finished with what was easily a career-high with 25 points and went 7-9 on shots from distance.
CMU's Josh Kozinski slowed the run with a 3-pointer with 10:10 to go, as the Chippewas scratched and clawed to stay in the contest. CMU pulled back within five when Rayshawn Simmons hit a triple with 7:00 remaining, and again when Braylon Rayson did so with 5:38 left to make it 77-72.
But Central wasn't able to keep Coach Dave Rose's team from pulling away. Buckets from the likes of Kyle Collinsowrth, Seljaas, and Kyle Davis kept the game out of reach. Davis and Collinsworth put exclamation points on the night when Davis flushed home a trio of dunks in the final minutes, and Collinsworth tallied his NCAA-record best eighth triple-double on an assist to, who else? Zac Seljaas. Collinsworth ended the game with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
BYU shot 55 percent from the field and hit 14-31 from beyond the 3-point land. 26 assists was another one of those stats that the home crowd has to be happy with at the end of the day. All-in-all, the Cougars had three guys who finished with at least 20 points, Seljaas, Kyle Davis (20) and Chase Fischer (23).
It was the battle of dueling 3-pointers, and it was fun.
At the half, the teams had the same amount of rebounds (18), offensive and defensive (6 and 12), and points in the paint (12), and shot 48 percent from the field. The two were about the same in 3-pt. field goal percentage (CMU shot 10-20 while BYU shot 8-18) and assists (CMU had 10 while BYU had 12). All said and done, the first 20 minutes were pretty even. The latter half was just BYU going out and getting it.
Oddly enough, both Josh Kozinski and John Simons went 4-6 on 3-point attempts in the first half.
The BYU radio guys shared an interesting stat during the course of the game that this non-CMU guy double-taked upon hearing. Josh Kozinski has only made four baskets 2-point buckets in his career.
Rayson, Simmons, Konzinski and Simons all finished as double digit scorers and Chris Fowler finished with 8 points and 10 assists. The Chippewas had 18 assists on the night.
Chippewas sure didn't seem out of sorts for their second true away game of the year (the other being the loss to Grand Canyon). The Cougars just made lots of plays when they needed them.
The Chippewas fell to 5-5 while the Cougars moved to 7-3 with the win, a nice recovery after a loss to Colorado.