PROVO — BYU’s trip to the Los Angeles area got off to a turbulent start, but the Cougars proved to be resilient once again.
It began with a disappointing 80-74 defeat at Pepperdine in a game that saw BYU blow a 15-point lead early in the second half.
That was followed by an 87-68 victory at Loyola Marymount in a contest that saw guard Kyle Collinsworth record his fifth triple-double of the season, setting an NCAA record.
Then later that night, San Diego knocked off Pepperdine, 72-50. That means the Cougars (18-8, 8-5) and the Waves (15-9, 8-5) are back where they were a week ago, tied for third place in the West Coast Conference standings.
The bounce-back win at LMU was big for BYU.
“It means a lot,” said Collinsworth. “The thing about basketball, it’s all about timing, playing well when you need to play well. We’re going to keep battling every day. We’re going to get better, and we’re going to make a big run and finish out conference play and get ready for the WCC tournament. It’s all about timing.”
The Cougars return home to host Saint Mary’s Thursday and Pacific Saturday. The Gaels defeated the Tigers Saturday, 73-58.
Against LMU, Collinsworth tied a career-high with 23 points. He also pulled down 12 rebounds and recorded 10 assists. He was 9 of 11 from the free-throw line.
It’s worth noting that four of Collinsworth’s five triple-doubles have come away from the Marriott Center.
“It is amazing, because there is a part of this at times people get accused of padding their stats at home,” said coach Dave Rose. “That’s not the case here. Kyle understands a little bit about the situation we’re in with this team. He needs to do more maybe than in a normal situation. (Saturday) we shot the ball well so he got those 10 assists. He gets a lot of double-doubles from scoring and rebounding. (Saturday), he got the third part.”
Collinsworth said “it would be nice” to get more triple-doubles at home.
“But to me, every game is a game and you’ve got to bring it whether it’s home or away,” he said.
Collinsworth didn’t know about his record-breaking triple-double until he came out of the game at LMU with a little more than one minute remaining.
“I had absolutely no idea,” he said. “Sometimes they say, ‘one more.’ I had no idea until I sat down on the bench.”
With one more triple-double, Collinsworth will tie the NCAA career record.
Michael Anderson (Drexel) and Shaquille O’Neal (Louisiana State) each had six triple-doubles during their careers.