(Photo by Tod Fierner/Saint Mary's)
MALIBU, Calif. – Junior Brandon Davies scored a career-high 29 points and snagged six rebounds to lead the BYU men’s basketball team to a 77-64 road victory over the Pepperdine Waves.
“We learned a lot from our game the other night and we threw it inside a lot," head coach Dave Rose said. "We’ll get back to playing like we are supposed to be playing when we get a little rest and get back on track. Tonight was a game we had to win and you have to figure out how any way you can.”
Davies finished 7 of 14 from the field and nailed a career-high 15 free throws in 18 attempts. His 29 points are the most for a BYU player this season.
Senior Noah Hartsock joined an elite BYU club by scoring his 1000th career point with a free throw at the 8:04 mark. Hartsock finished the game with 20 points on 8 of 14 shooting. Senior Charles Abouo also scored in double digits with 15 points.
“What I think was a big difference was we had way more patience," Rose said. "There were a few possessions where we would take the ball inside and pass out and back in and out. A lot of it was patience and determination. A lot of guys knew Noah and Brandon would have a real advantage. I’m real proud of the guys.”
Pepperdine (7-12, 1-7) jumped out to an 11-2 in the first three minutes of game time while the Cougars (17-5, 6-2) hit just one of their first seven shots. Four quick points from Abouo sparked a 12-0 run for BYU that gave the Cougars a 14-11 advantage.
The next few minutes featured several lead changes as the teams exchanged buckets. Abouo scored seven straight points to give the Cougars a 25-24 lead, which helped jump-start a 15-3 BYU in the final six minutes of the half.
The run allowed BYU to build up a 42-29 halftime advantage. Abouo scored 13 points in the opening period while Hartsock and Davies each added 12.
BYU opened the second half slow as the Waves closed the deficit to four at 48-44 with a 15-6 run to start the half. The Cougars maintained and later expanded the lead behind the strong play of Davies and his 17 second-half points.
Davies and Hartsock helped seal the win by hitting 13 of15 free throws down the stretch. The Cougars hit just eight field goals in the second half compared with 15 for Pepperdine but made 19 free throws to keep hold of the 13-point lead they build in the first half. BYU made a season-high 29 free throws on 38 attempts for the game.
BYU will take a break from its West Coast Conference schedule with a game at Virginia Tech on Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST and can be heard on KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM. It will also be broadcast on ESPN3.com