LAHAINA, Hawaii – Strong shooting down the stretch gave the BYU men’s basketball team a 78-63 win over UCLA in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational Monday night at Lahaina Civic Center. With the victory, the Cougars now play Kansas Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. HST on ESPN.
"I couldn't be more proud of my guys," BYU coach Mark Pope said. "That UCLA team is a really good team and I know Coach, and Mick is a big time coach. We knew that they were going to come in here on fire after starting the season great and having a little setback against Hofstra at home. And we knew we were going to have our hands full and I'm just proud of our guys. They knew the agenda items that had to be taken care of and they did it. They did it as team with a couple really important fundamental things that we took care of. So I'm super proud of them."
Senior guard Jake Toolson led all scorers with 20 points while adding three rebounds and two assists. Senior TJ Haws added 15 points and four assists while sophomore Kolby Lee followed with 13 points and two rebounds. Senior Zac Seljaas and junior Alex Barcello each recorded nine points with Seljaas leading the team with a career-best 11 rebounds.
The Bruins (4-2) scored on their first possession of the game and despite a trey by Dalton Nixon, jumped to a 5-3 lead just 47 seconds into the first half.
With the score tied at 11-all and under 15 minutes on the clock, Toolson, Seljaas and Haws all buried 3-pointers to increase BYU’s (4-2) lead to 20-14. However, following a timeout, UCLA answered with five-straight points to cut the Cougar lead to one, 20-19, with 10 minutes to go in the first half.
A layup by Connor Harding and a 3-point play by Lee kept the Bruins from taking the lead back as BYU extended its advantage to 27-21. UCLA answered with a 7-0 run to take a 28-27 lead with 4:11 remaining on the clock.
Baskets from Nixon and Barcello were followed by another trey by Toolson to put the Cougars back on top, 34-28. The Bruins scored the final bucket of the half to bring the score to 36-32 at halftime.
After one half, BYU recorded 65.2 percent shooting from the field compared to the UCLA’s 44.8. percent. Lee led the offense with nine points while Toolson added eight.
A jumper in the paint by Toolson gave the Cougars their first bucket of the second half, but a surge in the Bruin offense gave UCLA a 46-44 lead near the 15-minute mark. Toolson quickly responded with another bucket from beyond the arc to give the lead right back to BYU.
Back-to-back buckets from the Bruins gave them a 52-51 advantage with 11:19 remaining in the game. A pair of free-throws by Seljaas started a 10-0 run for the Cougars that included points from Haws and Barcello to give them a nine-point lead, 61-52 and 7:18 left to play.
In the final minutes of the game, Haws led the team on an 11-0 run that was highlighted by a 3-pointer from Nixon and 3-point plays by Haws and Toolson to give BYU a controlling 78-58 lead to close out the game.
On the game, the Cougars shot 62.0 percent from the field, 50.0 percent from 3 and 87.5 percent from the charity strip. UCLA recorded 45.5 percent from the field, 35.7 percent from beyond the arc and 53.3 percent from the free-throw line.
BYU will play Kansas in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational on Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 5:30 p.m. HST. The game will be televised on ESPN with audio broadcasts available on BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM), BYU Sports Network and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.