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Provo • About three minutes remained in last Thursday's nailbiter at No. 25-ranked Gonzaga, and BYU trailed 63-61.

Assistant coach Terry Nashif drew up an inbounds play and Chase Fischer feigned as if he were going to head for the 3-point line as Nick Emery broke toward the rim. As Zags defender Kyle Dranginis attempted to beat Fischer to a spot beyond the arc, Fischer followed Emery to the basket, took a pass from Kyle Collinsworth and scored as he was being fouled.

His 3-point play gave the Cougars their first lead since early in the first half, and BYU held on for a 69-68 win.

"Just like we drew it up," Nashif said. "The guys executed. There is only one option on the play. It is either a layup or a turnover. That's what I told [coach Dave Rose], and it ended up being a layup."

Rose says he likes to get three to five baskets a game off inbounds plays, and that often happens.

"I think it is a real difference-maker between winning and losing," Rose said. "Other coaches believe that you just get in and run your normal stuff and get really good at that. … But it is a real priority for me."

BYU (13-6, 4-2 West Coast Conference) takes on Loyola Marymount on Thursday at Gertsen Pavilion and Pepperdine on Saturday in Malibu. A sweep is critical for BYU to keep pace with Gonzaga and Saint Mary's, both 6-1, in the race for the WCC regular-season title.

The Cougars don't share statistics on how many inbound plays they get per game, but a review of their six league games shows Rose's three-per-game estimation is close.

When Nashif was in seventh grade, the former BYU point guard (2001-05) suffered a skull fracture and couldn't play. His coach put him in charge of the out-of-bounds plays so he could stay involved.

When Nashif took over the offense, he installed a myriad of inbounds plays, all with second and third options.

"I like turning it into a chess match — figuring out how they are going to guard you, what they are going to do defensively, what defenders we can take advantage of, and what spots we can get our guys the ball at, to see what works," Nashif said. "Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, and it is a turnover."

BYU has gotten five-second violations, but not many. Collinsworth has been delivering the inbounds passes for three seasons, and knows when to get rid of the ball, says Nashif.

"Everybody gets nervous late in the clock. As a defender, you start looking at the ball, and if you look at the ball, we gotcha, because we are sending slips and cutters to the basket. It makes everybody uncomfortable, and that's part of it. We try to use the full five seconds," said Nashif.

Nashif said they have 7-10 inbounds plays, but it may seem like more, as all of them come with options.

"We just feel like it is an advantage," he said. "The ball in under the hoop, the defenders have their backs to the ball, and we try to take advantage of that as much as possible. Teams don't spend a ton of time on them, is what we've found."

Twitter: @drewjay —

BYU vs. Loyola Marymount

P At Gersten Pavilion, Los Angeles

Tipoff • Thursday, 9 p.m. MST

TV • BYUtv, ROOT; Radio • 1160 AM, 102.7 FM, Sirius XM 143

Records • BYU 13-6, 4-2 WCC; LMU 9-9, 25 WCC

Series record • BYU leads, 8-4

Last meeting • BYU 87, LMU 68 (Feb. 7, 2015)

About the Cougars • They are playing their third straight road game after splitting a pair of games last weekend. … F Kyle Davis has seven double-doubles this season and has scored in double figures in 18 of 19 games. … F Nate Austin is first all-time in offensive rebounds at BYU, with 269.

About the Lions • Their starting five are different than last year, which was coach Mike Dunlap's first year at the helm. … Forward Adom Jacko leads in scoring (14.2 ppg.) and rebounding (6.3 rpg.). … They are holding opponents to 70.9 points per game and 41.3 percent shooting.