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MORAGA, Calif. — Calvin Hermanson scored 21 points on a career-high 5-of-7 3-pointers to lead Saint Mary's by BYU, 85-74 in the first game of West Coast Conference play for the Cougars on New Year's Eve.
Hermanson averaged 9.9 points per game for the Gaels (12-1, 3-0 WCC), but broke out Thursday night and helped his team shoot 66 percent from inside the arc. Jock Landale added 14 points and seven rebounds for Saint Mary's.
BYU came back from a 36-27 halftime deficit, opening the second half with a 10-0 run and going ahead briefly, 37-36 when Kyle Davis scored two of his 14 points with 18:03 left in the second half.
But Saint Mary's came right back, and took a game-high lead of 13 points at 73-60 on Rahon's triple with 3:47 left in the game to coast to the win.
Chase Fischer led the Cougars (9-5, 0-1 WCC) with 21 points and two assists, but shot just 8-of-18 from the field including 2-of-8 from 3-point range. Nick Emery added 11 points and two assists, and Kyle Collinsworth supplied eight points, six assists and six rebounds.
BYU plays at Pacific on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. MST on KSL NewsRadio.
FOR CONTINUITY'S SAKE — BYU started the same five players as it did during its two wins in Hawaii with Collinsworth, Fischer, Davis, Emery and post Nate Austin in his third start of the season.
Austin had a season-high six points and 14 rebounds, and led the team during a slow start with all six of his points in the first 10 minutes. The redshirt senior from Alpine had his most productive game since an 87-85 loss to Purdue on Nov. 26, 2014, before suffering a season-ending injury two weeks later.
Also continuing a trend, former Bountiful star Zac Seljaas bagged a 3-pointer for the seventh-straight game, dating back to Dec. 9 against Utah State.
MOVIN' ON UP — Collinsworth moved to No. 3 on BYU's all-time assists list, passing former Cougar great Marty Haws with 530 career assists. He also passed Haws to move up to No. 21 on the all-time scoring list, currently sitting on 1,338 points.
MISSED CHANCE — The Cougars, who are 0-4 in true road games in 2015-16, dropped only their second game to the Gaels in the past five meetings Thursday night in Moraga. BYU still leads the all-time series 11-8, but the Cougars are 2-5 at McKeon Pavilion.