PROVO, Utah – BYU pulled away late to beat Pacific 69-59 and win its third-straight game Saturday night at the Marriott Center.
“I really thought we were engaged in our execution on defense,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “We made them take tough shots. We also had guys come off the bench and give us a tremendous lift tonight.”
Yoeli Childs led the Cougars with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Connor Harding came off the bench to hit three 3-pointers and add 13 points.
BYU trailed by as many as six points early on but Gavin Baxter’s lay-in halfway through the first half got the Cougars within one point at 15-14. A 3-pointer by Harding and a Childs bucket gave BYU a 19-17 lead with 7:52 on the clock.
The Cougars held a narrow lead until a Tiger 3-pointer tied the game at 30-30 with a couple minutes left in the period. Harding buried a 3 from the corner on BYU’s second-to-last possession to make it a 33-30 lead going into the locker room.
At the half, Childs and Harding led the Cougars with 11 and eight points, respectively.
Five minutes into the second half, BYU and Pacific were tied at 41-41. A few minutes later, with the score tied at 45-45, Harding knocked down his third 3 of the game to put the Cougars back on top.
For the first time since halfway through the first half, Pacific took a lead by going up 52-51 with 9:32 on the clock. The Cougars answered when Baxter found Harding cutting for an open layup to give BYU a one-point lead. On the next possession, Nick Emery made a 3-pointer for a 56-52 advantage.
The two teams exchanged leads over the next few minutes. Another Emery 3 provided a cushion with 4:25 left in the game, as the Cougars went up 63-57. From there, BYU extended its lead and went on to win 69-59.
The Cougars travel to play at San Diego on Thursday at 6 p.m. PST. That game will be streamed on TheW.tv with radio broadcasts on BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2) and KSL (1160 AM/102.7 FM).