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BYU tops New Mexico with second-half effort

PROVO, Utah — Jonathan Tavernari had 22 points, and Jackson Emery scored a career-high 19 to lift Brigham Young out of a first-half funk and into a tie for second place in the Mountain West Conference with a 73-62 victory over New Mexico on Tuesday.

Tavernari scored 13 points in the first 13 minutes of the second half after the Cougars (20-5, 8-3 MWC) struggled through their worst first-half shooting performance of the season.

Tony Danridge led New Mexico (16-10, 7-4) with 17 points, and Daniel Faris had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

The victory gave BYU 20 wins for the fourth time in coach Dave Rose’s four seasons. The Cougars also avenged their worst loss of the season, a 19-point drubbing in Albuquerque, N.M.

The Mountain West’s two best field-goal percentage defenses strangled the offenses in the first half Tuesday.

BYU, the nation’s best shooting team, missed its first five shots, and New Mexico jumped to an early lead. The Cougars shot 33 percent in the first half.

Emery helped BYU to a 29-26 halftime lead by making 4 of 5 shots for 11 points.

The Cougars shot 54 percent in the second half and made 5 of 9 3-pointers.

BYU also dominated the middle, outscoring the Lobos 34-18 in the paint, and enjoyed a 12-0 edge in fast-break points.

UNLV will host BYU at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

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