LAS VEGAS — Kyle Collinsworth was helped significantly by rest.
This was just BYU's second game in two weeks. He looked bouncy and fresh, and produced 23 points and 15 rebounds in an 85-74 win against Loyola Marymount.
The No. 2-seeded Cougars, who split the regular-season series with the No. 10 Lions, built an 18-point lead late in the first half.
It was sliced to seven by half, but BYU responded with solid defense and making 13-of-32 shots in the final 20 minutes.
Tyler Haws added 22 points, but needed 9-of-22 shooting to do it compared to Collinsworth's 9-for-15 showcase at Orleans Arena.
Anson Winder added 14, including some stealth defense in the early stages as BYU built its big lead on steals and fast-break baskets.
The only concern was 3-point shooting: BYU missed all 12 attempts (six in each half) and hadn't gone a full game without a conversion since 1996. Twice this season BYU had made one, so that record was being flirted with.
There are bigger things to worry about, though, like the WCC semifinal.
BYU will play Monday evening at a time to be determined against San Francisco, which defeated San Diego in the game before the Cougars played.
USF lost both meetings to BYU this year, but it's traditionally been a close series.
It was a first half of second chances for BYU.
Unfortunately, the Cougars have also given Loyola Marymount some chances to get back in the game.
BYU led by 18 points with 5 1/2 minutes before halftime, but now lead 43-36 after a Lions 3-point play with less than a second on the clock after a putback basket off a missed 3-pointer.
BYU has 17 second-chance points and LMU has 16 after a late surge.
Either way, BYU was going to play someone that had beat it once this season.
But facing Loyola Marymount on Saturday afternoon is an especially interesting proposition, because the Lions know how to win in big doses at this stage of the season. They won three games to reach the West Coast Conference tournament semifinals last year, despite a similarly miserable conference-play record during the regular season.
Are the last-seeded Los Angeles miracle workers at it again heading into the quarterfinal showdown? Max Good's team held off Portland on Thursday night in the first round, rallying in the second half. It was a slight upset considering seeding: LMU is No. 10 (last in the West Coast Conference) and Portland was No. 7. Now it received a day off and a chance to think even bigger at Orleans Arena.
BYU lost the first meeting with LMU in late December. Based on the scheduling, the rematch wasn't long after: Jan. 11.
BYU won that game, 91-68.
The Cougars' troika of Tyler Haws, Matt Carlino and Kyle Collinsworth produced 69 points.
LMU was in the game until late.
"We have to play four back like the first game," guard Evan Payne said, meaning to get defenders back and not let the Cougars run in fast transition off missed shots. "We just need to play more poised."
Anthony Ireland has caused BYU problems in the past. He's a senior point guard who may be one of the best players in the league, despite the team's lack of success.
He said the Lions are talking about having lost, but not being losers. He led his team to victory, despite a 4-of-18 shooting night against Portland.
LMU even led by five points in Provo early in the second half, before a 10-0 run started to push the rematch BYU's way. It's a tricky matchup for the Cougars because of Ireland's ability to drive and dish, and the Lions having some streaky shooters like Payne.
The Cougars could use some WCC tourney good fortune of their own.
Dave Rose-coached teams are 9-8 in conference tournament settings, counting six years in the Mountain West.
BYU is 1-2 in WCC games, losing in the first game last year to San Diego.
No 2-seed BYU (21-10, 13-5) vs. No. 10 Loyola Marymount (13-18, 5-14)
2 p.m. PST, Orleans Arena; Las Vegas
Radio: KSL 1160 AM (102.7 FM)
Tip-ins: BYU has won 13 of its last 16 games, not counting a conference-opening loss at LMU. ...The Lions defeated No. 7 Portland on Thursday night. ...The teams have never met on a neutral floor; BYU leads the series, 5-4, after a two-game split this season. ...PG Anthony Ireland paces LMU (18 ppg, 4 apg).