MAUI, Hawaii – The BYU men’s basketball team made 17 3-pointers to take a 90-77 win over Virginia Tech for third place in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational Wednesday night at the Lahaina Civic Center.
“I couldn't be more proud of these guys,” BYU coach Mark Pope said. “What an unbelievable effort they put on the floor and they did it together from start to finish absolutely together. It was extraordinary. And I’m really excited for the future that we have together throughout the season.”
TJ Haws recorded 20 points – including 17 in the second half – and hit four treys, while dishing out four assists and grabbing two rebounds. Dalton Nixon followed with 14 points and three rebounds while Alex Barcello added 13 points. Jake Toolson scored 11 points and led the team with eight assists and seven rebounds.
The Cougars (5-3) opened their scoring with 3-pointers from Toolson and Barcelo to take an early 6-4 advantage and set the pace for the remainder of the game. The Hokies (6-2) jumped to a four-point lead but Toolson answered with a trey to keep it a one-point game, 16-15, with 14 minutes to play in the first half.
Back-to-back buckets from beyond the arc by Trevin Knell and Haws put BYU on top 21-20 near the nine-minute mark. A steal by Knell resulted in a Nixon 3-pointer and then on the following possession Knell buried his second trey to make it the fifth-straight 3-pointer for the Cougars as they took a 27-22 advantage with 7:18 remaining on the clock.
With the game tied at 29-all the two teams each hit a pair of buckets from beyond the arc, but a Virginia Tech jumper made the difference as the Hokies had a 37-35 lead going into halftime.
After one half, BYU shot 43.3 percent from the field while hitting nine of 20 from deep and Virginia Tech recorded 55.6 percent from the field.
To start the second half, a jumper by Nixon evened the game at 37-all before back-to-back layups gave the Hokies a four-point lead, 41-37.
An impressive 13-straight points from Haws that included a pair of layups and three 3-pointers, gave the Cougars a 56-48 advantage with 14 minutes remaining in the game, forcing a Virginia Tech timeout.
A 5-0 run by Zac Seljaas extended BYU’s lead to 68-51 and despite the Hokies scoring on their end of the court, the Cougars continued to dominate offensively as Nixon and Seljaas combined for eight points to give BYU its largest lead of the night, 76-58, with 7:23 on the clock.
The Cougars ended the game with six points from the charity stripe to secure their third-place finish.
On the game, BYU shot 54.2 percent from the field, 50.0 percent from 3 and 81.8 percent from the charity stripe. Virginia Tech recorded 53.4 percent from the field, 50.0 percent from beyond the arc and 57.1 percent from the free-throw line.
The Cougars return to the Marriott Center to host Montana Tech on Saturday, Nov. 30, at 1 p.m. MST. The game will be televised on BYUtv with audio broadcasts available on BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM), BYU Sports Network and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.