PROVO, Utah – Brandon Davies finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds to lead the BYU men’s basketball team to an 84-54 win over Northern Arizona Thursday night at the Marriott Center.
“I thought this was a good defensive effort," head coach Dave Rose said. "Our guys guarded well, followed our game plan and didn’t give them any second chance points, especially in the first half. We saw contributions from a lot of players. We’ve improved in the last couple of weeks and that’s a good sign. This is a good win and now we turnaround and focus on our next opponent."
BYU improved to 9-4 on the season while Northern Arizona fell to 4-8. The Cougars’ length was evident tonight, forcing 24 Lumberjack turnovers and holding a 40-18 advantage in points scored in the paint.
Tyler Haws and Raul Delgado joined Davies in double-digit scoring on the night. Haws scored 15 points and Delgado had a career-high 11 points. Combined, the two went 6 of 9 behind the arc.
The Cougars went to Davies for their first two baskets of the night. Northern Arizona answered each basket with a trey to open an early 6-4 lead. Haws hit a jumper to start an 8-0 BYU run highlighted by two Matt Carlino steals. Carlino intercepted a pass and took the ball down, finding Josh Sharp under the basket to push the score to 8-6.
Coming out of a media timeout Haws hit a jumper and on the next possession, Carlino stole the ball and took it down for a layup to push the score to 12-6, forcing a Lumberjack timeout at the 15-minute mark.
Northern Arizona scored two baskets to bring the score to 14-13 before Davies found Haws on the wing for a 3-pointer to begin a streak of 18 unanswered points to push the lead to 32-13 before Gabe Rodgers ended the drought by hitting a free throw. The run was highlighted by eight points from both Haws and Davies.
With just over three minutes left in the half, Delgado stole the ball which led to a fast-break dunk by Davies. Agustin Ambrosino and Delgado hit threes and Zylstra hit an acrobatic layup right before the buzzer to push the lead to 25 points and give the Cougars a 48-23 lead.
The second half started the same way as the first with the Cougars going inside to Davies on two of the first three possessions. Davies hit a jump hook for the first basket of the half and, after a Brock Zylstra jumper, completed a three-point play after getting fouled on a layup for a 55-25 lead.
Davies later scored back-to-back buckets with the first on a putback. Haws stole the ball the next time down the court and on the fast break, flipped the ball over his head to Davies who finished with a monster two-handed dunk for a 69-38 lead.
Delgado then caught fire, hitting two 3-pointers to push the Cougar lead to 75-38 with 12:22 left in the second half.
A layup by Max Jacobsen sparked a Lumberjack 12-0 run, capped by a four-point play by Michael Dunn to bring the score to 78-50 with 7:48 left.
With just under six minutes left in the half, Anson Winder found Delgado for a three-quarter court alley-oop to stop the Northern Arizona run and push the lead back to 32 points at 82-50.
"We got good contributions from our bench, which is key to playing consistently for an entire game," Rose said. "A lot of guys got extended minutes, got comfortable and contributed. It was a good effort from the bench. All the minutes they got are good for their confidence.”
With the game out of reach early, the Cougars got another strong performance from their bench, outscoring the Lumberjack bench 28-19 on the night.
BYU travels up I-15 to EnergySolutions Arena Saturday to take on Virginia Tech at noon MST in a neutral-site matchup. The game will be broadcast on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM and televised on ESPNU.