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BYU basketball: Motivated Cougars crush NAU, 84-54

Published December 28, 2012 9:48 am

Last week's loss to Baylor inspires Cougs in rout against NAU.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Provo • Northern Arizona's task of competing with BYU on its own court Thursday night was going to be difficult enough.

But the overmatched Lumberjacks' odds soared even higher the moment the Cougars walked off the Baylor court a week earlier as losers.

Brandon Davies, BYU's talented forward whose 27 points helped pave the way for an 84-54 Cougars victory in the Marriott Center, pointed to that exact moment.

"First off, we were sitting on that Baylor loss," Davies said. "So we were sitting on that, fired up and brought it every day in practice. We wanted to make sure we took care of business tonight."

BYU, which takes on Virginia Tech on Saturday before starting West Coast Conference play, took care of business defensively.

The Cougars' defensive pressure eventually turned what began as a close game early into the expected rout.

Northern Arizona (4-8) of the Big Sky Conference pulled within 14-13. From there, the Cougars wouldn't let NAU breath.

Between the 13-minute, 29-second mark to 7:56 to play in the first half, BYU went on an 18-0 run to all but settle matters. The Cougars, who also limited the 'Jacks to one offensive rebound in the opening 13 minutes, eventually built a 38-point lead before emptying the bench.

"I thought it was a really good defensive effort on our part," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "I thought our guys really guarded well and we had a good game plan. We challenged shots. We kept them from getting second shots early in the game."

BYU forced 24 turnovers while five Cougars had at least two steals, led by Davies and Brock Zylstra with three each.

"The coaches really challenged us to take every possession personally," said Davies, who earned his fourth double-double of the season with 10 rebounds. "We definitely needed to step up our defensive effort, and tonight was the first stage of that.

"It really came down to us being dialed in every play defensively."

Michael Dunn was the lone NAU player in double figures, with 17 points.

Meanwhile, BYU's Tyler Haws and Raul Delgado added 15 and 11 points, respectively.

If there was a concern, albeit minor, for Rose, it was the last five minutes or so when, with Davies and Haws on the bench, BYU could not figure out a go-to player on offense.

"I thought we got really good contributions from our bench, which is a real key to be able to play consistently throughout the entire game," Rose said. "I think we've really improved the last two weeks." —

Highlights

O Leading by one, BYU goes on an 18-0 run midway through the first half.

• Brandon Davies finishes with 27 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. —

BYU 84, N. Arizona 54

N. ARIZONA (4-8) • Rogers 2-13 4-5 8, Russell 4-14 0-0 9, Bewernick 2-4 0-0 4, Saldivar 3-6 0-0 8, Jacobsen 3-6 0-0 6, Hamilton 0-1 0-0 0, Dunn 7-9 2-2 17, Heine 0-0 0-0 0, Flores 0-2 0-0 0, Gosar 0-0 0-0 0, Martin 0-1 0-1 0, Ekanem 1-4 0-2 2. Totals • 22-60 6-10 54.

BYU (9-4) • Davies 13-16 1-1 27, Haws 5-10 2-2 15, Carlino 3-9 0-0 6, Sharp 1-3 0-0 2, Zylstra 2-4 2-3 6, Delgado 4-7 0-0 11, Cusick 0-3 0-0 0, Ambrosino 3-7 0-2 8, Winder 0-2 1-2 1, Calvert 1-4 1-3 3, Austin 0-3 5-6 5, Harward 0-1 0-0 0. Totals • 32-69 12-19 84.

Halftime—BYU 48-23. 3-Point Goals—N. Arizona 4-18 (Saldivar 2-3, Russell 1-3, Dunn 1-3, Hamilton 0-1, Flores 0-2, Rogers 0-6), BYU 8-25 (Haws 3-4, Delgado 3-5, Ambrosino 2-6, Davies 0-1, Zylstra 0-1, Carlino 0-1, Calvert 0-2, Winder 0-2, Cusick 0-3). Fouled Out—Martin. Rebounds—N. Arizona 41 (Saldivar 9), BYU 43 (Davies 10). Assists—N. Arizona 10 (Saldivar 4), BYU 20 (Carlino 6). Total Fouls—N. Arizona 15, BYU 12. A—17,342.