BYU routs Northern Arizona 87-52 - East Valley Tribune: Sports

BYU routs Northern Arizona 87-52

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Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 8:26 pm | Updated: 11:16 pm, Wed Nov 30, 2011.

(AP) — Brock Zylstra had 23 points, Brandon Davies added 14 and Brigham Young ran over Northern Arizona in the first half for an 87-52 win Wednesday night.

BYU (5-2) took control with an early 15-0 run and never gave Northern Arizona much of a chance after that, hounding the Lumberjacks into one mistake after another at cozy Tim's Toyota Center.

Noah Hartsock had 11 points and the Cougars made 10 3-pointers while shooting 51 percent overall. Zylstra was 5 of 6 from the arc.

Northern Arizona (2-5) took an early lead, but didn't do much right after that in its second straight lopsided loss.

The young Lumberjacks had 16 of their 24 turnovers in the first half to fall behind by 23 and had numerous defensive breakdowns throughout the game.

Colin Gruber had 13 points to lead NAU.

The Cougars won a record 32 games last season and advanced to the NCAA round of 16 last season, getting a big boost from national player of the year Jimmer Fredette. The Jimmer's gone this season, though, about to start his NBA career in Sacramento.

All-time steals leader Jackson Emery also is gone, leaving BYU with returning three starters and a roster that includes nine freshmen.

The new-look Cougars opened the season with a tough loss to Utah State, followed by four lopsided wins. The Cougars' last game was a 21-point loss to then-No. 11 Wisconsin, thanks poor perimeter defense that led to seven 3-pointers by the Badgers' Ben Brust.

BYU was the team taking advantage of spotty D against Northern Arizona, hitting 5 of 10 3-pointers in the first half — many with the defenders five feet away or more. Zylstra hit 3 of his 4 attempts, scoring 15 points to put the Cougars up 44-21.

BYU clanged a few more in the second half — 5 of 15 — but was so far ahead it didn't matter.

Northern Arizona is having to adjust to losing a good player, too.

Shifty guard Cameron Jones was the Lumberjacks' career scoring leader, but he graduated and is playing for Fort Wayne of the NBADL. The Lumberjacks also lost starting forward Shane Johannsen, had one player dismissed from the team in the spring and another leave the program before fall classes started.

Not surprisingly with that kind of turnover, NAU got the season off to a tough start, opening 0-3 for the first time since 1990-91. The Lumberjacks rebounded with a pair of one-sided wins, but lost by 20 to Loyola Marymount their last game after allowing a first-half-closing 17-4 run.

Northern Arizona had a similar letdown against BYU, only this one started earlier.

The Lumberjacks scored the first four points, then went 6½ minutes before scoring again. They had trouble just holding onto the ball much less shooting it, with nine turnovers in the first nine minutes and 16 in the first half, including a 10-second halfcourt violation in the final minute.

The giveaways led to 19 points for the Cougars and had coach Mike Adras shaking his head — nearly as much as when the Lumberjacks left BYU's shooters open along the 3-point arc.

NAU opened the second half with — of course — a turnover and quickly fell behind by 29. The Lumberjacks cut down on their turnovers and started to knock down a few more shots, but were in way too deep a hole to mount a comeback.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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