PROVO, Utah – Senior guard Tyler Haws led all scorers in a smooth offensive display at the annual Cougar Tipoff as the white team won the first half 34-27, and the blue team took the second 56-45, Wednesday night at the Marriott Center.
Haws poured in 35 points on 11-of-15 shooting from the field, including a perfect 4-for-4 from behind of the arc and 9-of-9 from the free-throw line. Skyler Halford chipped in nine points and led all players with 11 assists. Kyle Davis paced the white team in the second half with 16 points on 8 of 10 from the field.
Other Cougars in double figures included Jordan Ellis and Anson Winder with 13 and 12 points, respectively, while Isaac Neilson had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Chase Fischer and Luke Worthington each added 11 points.
The first bucket of the game came on a jumper at the rim of the white team’s Isaac Neilson. Tyler Haws then started the scoring effort for the blue team with a jump shot, evening the game at two apiece.
The teams traded points back and forth to keep the game close early on. Fischer converted a reverse layup to push the white team up 17-15.
The blue team eventually took a 19-17 lead at the 7:54 mark on Haws’ two free throws, but a dunk by Isaac Neilson tied it back up.
Halford’s 3-pointer after a Fischer steal put the white team up 24-19, the biggest lead of the half until that point. Neilson then hit a three to go up 27-21 after a Kaufusi finished at the rim for the blues. Chatman answered with a three of his own for the blue team, cutting the lead to 27-24.
After three-straight turnovers by the white team, Fischer ended the drought with a deep 3-pointer at the top of the key extending the small lead to 32-27 with 1:54 left in the period.
The whites ended the half up 34-27, with the last points coming on a Josh Sharp tip-in before the clock ran out.
The second half began as the teams reset the scoreboard and mixed up the teams.
Playing for the blue team, Fischer hit a three to start the scoring in the second half.
Sharp’s bucket, two Haws free-throws, Neilson’s layup and Sharp’s second bucket comprised an 8-0 run for the blue team, taking a 21-13 lead into a timeout called by the white team.
Halford then connected on a jumper at the elbow, giving the blue team the lead, 23-13.
The white team began to chip away at the lead, but Haws’ dunk put the blues back up by eight. Then a quick dish down to an open Halford on the next possession pushed the margin back to 10 with the advantage in favor of the blues, 31-21.
Haws’ third three propelled the blues further ahead of the whites, 36-25. Haws followed with another made 3-pointer on his next shot, helping his team to a 41-29 advantage with 5:10 left in the game.
Davis’ jumper and Chatman’s three from near the top of the arc cut the blue lead to seven with 4:20 to play.
Winder’s 3-pointer from the right side ended a 6-0 run by the white team as the blues then secured the lead the rest of the period.
"I've been through quite a few of these and it's tough to get through it when every time something good happens for one team, there are usually some issues on the other team, and they're both your team. I'll be glad to get to Saturday where we're actually playing against somebody else. My initial reaction was that we did a lot of good things. I'm glad we got a lot of guys to play and it was a nice little crowd. We had way too many fouls and turnovers. Those are things we'll really need to work on."
On Isaac Neilson:
"I felt like Isaac was engaged offensively. I think defensively and rebounding are things we can show him with the film and build from there. I think he's skilled and I'm hoping he'll be a really durable post-player for us. I think he's got a chance to be a good offensive post-player. I was happy for his offensive performance tonight."
On Chase Fischer:
"I think Chase had a lot of really good moments out there, but any player that's practiced for an entire year waiting for this moment, he was a little bit ahead of himself at times. I really like his presence on the floor and I thought he did a good job of carrying himself and taking advantage of opportunities that presented themselves for him. I think he's a guy who can do a lot for us on the guard line."
"I don't think he'll play on Saturday. We set the first full week of November as a timetable for him to where he was 100 percent in going back. He's been so diligent in his progress and I think that's something he really wants to stay with. Hopefully he can go through a full week of practice and play in the second exhibition game."
"It felt really good. We've been doing that same setup for three weeks now, but it was good because I can finally play. For me, it was good to get out in front of some fans with the lights on. I think we still have a lot of work to do, but it felt really good to get out there."
On Coach Rose's system:
"I feel good with everything. I think for me, it'll take a little time, a couple preseason games, to get that under my belt. It did feel natural after being here for a year, so there's a level of comfort that comes with that."
Playing with Tyler Haws:
"I think I'm getting kind of sick of playing against him and I had to guard him in the first half. It's tough because he can score any way and if you gamble, he's going to score. He's one of the best players in the nation and he sets a good example. He's a great leader and he's a great overall guy to have on your team."
"It was awesome. I was looking forward to that for three or four years now. I loved every minute of it and I'm just trying to get better every day."
On Coach Rose's system:
"We've had a year to implement it, so we transitioned pretty well."
On playing against opponent on Saturday:
"It'll be nice to play against other people. You get used to guarding your own teammates, but when you're going against someone else you can get a lot more experience that way. I'm definitely looking forward to this season." â€‹
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Cougar Tipoff opens basketball season Wednesday
PROVO, Utah – Cougar fans will get their first look at the BYU men's basketball team this Wednesday, Oct. 29, at the annual Papa John's Cougar Tipoff in the Marriott Center at 7 p.m. MDT.
Streaming audio of the full-length scrimmage will be available on the Cougar IMG Sports Network with Greg Wrubell and Mark Durrant calling the action on BYUCougars.com and the BYU Cougars app. BYUtv will broadcast the game live online on BYUtv.org.
The event is free to the public and doors open at 6 p.m. with player introductions at 7 and tipoff at 7:05.
The Cougars were picked second in the West Coast Conference this season. Tyler Haws and Kyle Collinsworth were named to the Preseason All-WCC Team. Haws will attempt to break BYU's career scoring mark this season, while the Cougars will look to make the postseason for the 10th year in a row.
BYU plays exhibitions on Saturday, Nov. 1, against the Colorado School of Mines and Seattle Pacific on Saturday, Nov. 8. Both games tip at 7 p.m. MDT and will be broadcast on BYUtv and can be heard on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, KSL 102.7 FM and 1160 AM and BYU Radio Sirius XM channel 143.