SALT LAKE CITY – Tyler Haws scored a career-high 42 points and led the BYU men’s basketball team to a 97-71 handling of Virginia Tech at EnergySolutions Arena on Saturday afternoon. The Cougars are now 10-4 while the Hokies fall to 9-3.
"I thought that we did a good job of getting shots,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “We got the ball into Brandon (Davies), that brought the double team, and we knew that if we could get the ball out and make one more pass, we could get some good looks."
Haws made 14 of 25 shots, including a career-best six of eight 3-pointers. The sophomore had 29 first-half points and finished with three rebounds, two steals and one assist.
"I was able to get into a rhythm,” Haws said. “I think they were doubling B (Brandon Davies) and so I got a few open shots, which is pretty unusual. I found my rhythm and I was able to knock my shots down tonight. It's fun when you can get into a rhythm. It was a great win for our team going into league play."
Haws’ 42 points in a game are tied for the eighth most by a BYU player. The former Lone Peak star also owns the family scoring record now, topping his father Marty Haws who scored a career-best 40 points against Siena in 1989 for the Cougars.
BYU shot 46.5 percent from the field and limited the Hokies to 38.1 percent, including just 2 of 20 from behind the arc. Brandon Davies added 17 points, four rebounds, four assists and one steal while Josh Sharp added 10 points.
Haws started the game with back-to-back threes and Davies made three foul shots to lead 9-0 before the Hokies picked up their first bucket with 17:49 left in the first half.
Haws continued his hot shooting in the opening minutes, knocking down four 3-pointers in the first six minutes of the game, helping the Cougars to a 22-12 lead.
Anson Winder and Davies got the crowd going with a Winder to Davies alley-oop dunk on an inbound pass. Davies followed it up with another layup shortly after to add to the Cougar lead at 26-14 with just over 12 minutes until halftime.
The 3-point barrage from Haws continued when he knocked down his fifth of the game, a career-high, during a 7-0 BYU run, pushing the lead to 33-17 with 10 minutes still to play in the first half.
After Haws got a 65-second breather he checked back in and proceeded to can another trey. Raul Delgado added another 3-pointer on the next possession to push the score to 43-25 with less than seven minutes remaining in the half.
The Cougars continued to roll into halftime, building a 25-point lead at the break, up 56-31. Haws had 29 points in the half on 9 of 13 shooting, including six of eight from 3-point land. The 29 first half points are the most in a half by a BYU player since Jimmer Fredette scored 33 in the first half against New Mexico in the 2011 Mountain West Conference Tournament. Fredette finished that game with a BYU record 52 points.
After Davies picked up an offensive board with 16:32 in the second half he dished it back to Haws for score and a chance at a 3-point play. Haws drained the free throw to give BYU a 30-point lead at 67-37.
The Cougars and Hokies traded baskets over the next six minutes but Virginia Tech went on a 12-0 run to cut the lead down to 78-60 with 7:33 left in the game. Haws finally ended the run with two to end a string of 0 for 8 shooting by the Cougars.
Sharp pushed BYU’s lead back to 25 with a one-handed dunk and a made free throw for a 3-point play, giving the Cougars an 87-62 lead with just under six minutes remaining.
The Cougars cruised the rest of the way to a 97-71 victory.
BYU begins league play against West Coast Conference foe Loyola Marymount on Thursday, Jan. 3, at the Marriott Center at 7 p.m. MST. The game will be televised on BYUtv and broadcast on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM.