Hounds no match for Division I Cougars

Freedom New Mexico

Freedom New Mexico

PROVO, Utah — The Brigham Young men’s basketball team is pushing for a spot in college basketball’s Top 25, and the Cougars did little to hurt their chances Saturday night.

Reserve Michael Loyd Jr. scored a game-high 17 points, leading four players in double figures as the Cougars rolled over Division II Eastern New Mexico 95-49 at the Marriot Center.

The Greyhounds (5-6), ending a two-week layoff from game action, managed a pair of early ties before BYU (14-1) took over the game.

Forward Jonathan Tavernari went 6-for-7 from the field, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range for 15 points for the Cougars, while center Chris Miles had 13 points and forward Noah Hartsock 12 on a perfect 6-of-6 from the field.

BYU shot 73 percent from the floor in the first half (22-for-30) and finished the game at 60 percent.

ENMU got 10 points each from junior forward Tyler Jefferson and senior forward Equs Darby. Jefferson also had a team-high six rebounds, but the Hounds got crushed on the glass 50-23 by the much taller Cougars.

The Hounds managed ties at 4-4 and 6-6 before Tavernari drained a 3-pointer at the 15:44 mark. That started the Cougars on a 14-2 run which gave them firm control.

By halftime, it was 57-27 and ENMU had gone 0-for-9 from beyond the arc.

BYU’s bench players got considerable playing time in the second half, but the Hounds continued to struggle. They were 9-of-34 from the field in the final 20 minutes and finished the game 4-of-21 from 3-point range.

BYU got 3-pointers from Lamont Morgan Jr. and Tavernari to make it 63-27 less than 90 seconds into the second half. The margin stayed in the 40-point range for most of the final 10 minutes.

The Cougars have won nine in a row since their only loss of the season, coming on Dec. 2 at Utah State.