The BYU Cougars used a huge performance from Yoeli Childs and some impressive shooting from inside the arc as they knocked off the New Mexico Lobos 79-73 on Friday night.
Childs paced four Cougars in double figures with 17 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the floor and 3-for-4 from the foul line. He also had a monster night on the backboards with a game-high 19 rebounds to go along with four blocks in the six-point win.
While the Cougars shot just 23.8 percent from 3-point range, they dominated inside the arc as they shot a blistering 71 percent on their two point attempts while scoring 40 points in the paint.
New Mexico didn’t have the same luck shooting the ball, connecting on just 37.1 percent of its shots, but stayed close thanks to 17 points off 23 BYU miscues.
The Cougars got out to an early lead thanks to some strong play on the inside from Childs and Luke Worthington to establish a 6-2 advantage before New Mexico got things going. The Lobos then ran off eight straight points to take a four-point lead of its own.
After a three-minute scoreless stretch for the Cougars, the substitution of Jahshire Hardnett brought the offense back to life as he scored on a pair of driving lay-ups to cut the deficit to just two.
With the score tied at 18 midway through the first half, the Cougars made a big run to open up the game. BYU scored 10 straight points in 1:46 of game time to secure a 10-point lead. TJ Haws and Elijah Bryant were key on the run as they hit back-to-back 3-point shots on assists from Zac Seljaas.
New Mexico made a run to close the gap to four, but the Cougars managed to hold a slim lead the rest of the first half.
The lead changed hands numerous times in the second before some big plays from the BYU bench turned the tide. Trailing 67-65, Hardnett got a steal and then found Dalton Nixon for a layup to tie the game.
Following a defensive stop, Nixon got on the offensive glass as he converted on a Worthington miss to regain the lead. Hardnett capped off the key 6-0 spurt with a steal and layup to give the Cougars a four-point lead with less than four minutes to go.
New Mexico cut the deficit to 73-72 with 1:06 to play, but the Cougars iced the game from the charity stripe as they connected on six foul shots in the final 36 seconds to secure the win.
Haws had a solid all-around effort in the victory with 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists while Bryant contributed 13 points on 50 percent shooting with eight rebounds. Worthington was also reached double figures with 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting from the floor and 4-for-4 from the foul line. He also chipped in with five rebounds and a pair of assists.
The Cougars got some important contributions off the bench as Hardnett had nine points, three assists, and two steals while Nixon registered eight points while shooting 3-for-3 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the line.
The only player to reach double figures in scoring for New Mexico was Sam Logwood who finished with 23 points on 8-for-15 shooting with six rebounds in 26 minutes.
Up next for the Cougars is another exhibition matchup with Westminster on Wednesday, Nov. 1.