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San Francisco • By the time Nick Emery's shooting performance was over, even the San Francisco fans in attendance and there weren't a lot of them were giving the BYU freshman guard his props.
Reminding BYU fans of what that other mercurial guard, Matt Carlino, did here two years ago, Emery scored a career-high 37 points on 10-of-12 shooting from 3-point range to break Danny Ainge's record of 36 points by a BYU freshman. His teammates were almost as hot, as the Cougars led wire-to-wire and rebounded nicely from Saturday's devastating loss to Pacific with a 114-89 win over the Dons in front of 1,420 fans at War Memorial at The Sobrato Center.
"When you feel it, you feel it, no matter how deep you are," Emery said of the barrage of treys, including some that were NBA range and beyond. "There was one, I don't even know why I released it. But it went in, and I just ran back and smiled. When they are falling, you just gotta keep shooting."
Emery wasn't the only Cougar blistering the nets, however. They made 17 of 27 3-point attempts and swept the Dons, having won 102-92 in Provo last month.
The Cougars improved to 9-4 in West Coast Conference play, 18-8 overall, and are 5-0 at War Memorial since joining the WCC, and 11-1 against the Dons.
USF fell to 6-7 and 13-11.
"When we are good, we are really good," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "That's what we'll emphasize."
Emery was 12 of 15 from the field.
A game-time decision due to a shoulder stinger suffered on Tuesday, Chase Fischer added 22 points. He told the coaches Thursday morning that he wanted to give it a go, then delivered from the field and free-throw line (8 of 10).
"I didn't have to challenge them. They challenged themselves [after losing 77-72 to Pacific]," Rose said. "This team showed it can respond in tough times."
Kyle Collinsworth (17), Kyle Davis (12), Jordan Chatman (11) and Corbin Kaufusi (10) also reached double figures, and Kaufusi had 10 rebounds. Chatman's total is a career high.
"Once you see someone make one, it rubs off on the rest of us," Chatman said.
Devin Watson led USF with 29 and Tim Derksen chipped in 25, but Rose wasn't disappointed in the defense, given the free-flowing nature of the game. The Dons were 6 of 24 from 3-point range, but used 16 offensive rebounds to keep from getting totally obliterated.
The Cougars had 20 assists after getting one in the second half against Pacific.
"We made a lot of plays at the rim where we dished it off at the right time," Rose said.
Emery hit five 3-pointers in the first half alone, on six attempts, and scored 20 points to out-duel USF's Watson, who had 17 at the break. The Cougars led 58-39 at halftime. It was BYU's highest-scoring half of the season and most since it scored 60 against Utah State on Dec. 2, 2014.
Emery banked one of his 3-pointers early, and the 19-point lead was BYU's largest of the half because Collinsworth beat the halftime buzzer with a running 3-pointer, a shot symbolic of how well the first half went for the visitors.
In last Saturday's loss to Pacific, the Cougars made 20 field goals. They made 21 in the first half Thursday.
"I think this whole week, there was just a different energy with us, and that's the energy I yearn for as a player," Emery said. "[Teammates] found me early, and I was able to knock down a couple shots. They just kept trusting me and having faith in me. You always like those types of games."
Even the USF fans would agree, albeit begrudgingly.