PROVO, Utah – Yoeli Childs scored 23 points in BYU men’s basketball’s 79-73 win over Oral Roberts on Saturday to move up to No. 10 in the school’s all-time scoring list.
“I’m really proud of our guys,” BYU head coach Mark Pope said. “We just did things in a way different way. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t easy, but guys figured it out and stepped up. It is so beautiful to win different ways and our guys did that tonight.”
Childs passed Mark Bigelow (1,715 points) on the all-time list after shooting 10 of 14 from the field to increase his career points scored to 1,736. The senior forward is only four points away from Mekeli Wesley who ranks No. 9 in BYU history with 1,740 points. Along with his scoring, Childs also added seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. Jake Toolson contributed 22 points and a team-high eight assists while TJ Haws scored 14 points and added six assists of his own.
Haws opened up the scoring with a pull up jumper from the top of the key. Childs scored a layup and threw down back-to-back dunks to give BYU (11-4) an early 8-5 lead over Oral Roberts (7-6) four minutes into the game.
While midair receiving a lob from Toolson, Childs lasered a one-handed pass to Zac Seljaas in the corner for an open 3-pointer. Alex Barcello made a driving layup on the following offensive possession to make the score 13-7. Toolson and Seljaas each drained a trey to help the Cougars go on an 8-0 run and increase their advantage to 21-9 with 10:31 remaining in the first period.
After two consecutive Golden Eagle 3-pointers, Connor Harding knocked down a shot from behind the arc and Childs made a floater in the paint to maintain a 26-17 edge. With 6:27 on the clock, Kolby Lee made a 3-pointer to increase BYU’s lead to 29-19.
Oral Roberts used a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to three points, 29-26, with just over two minutes left in the half. Childs scored a hook shot and Haws split a pair of free throws for a four-point edge. The Golden Eagles made it a two-point game with a fast break layup as time expired sending the Cougars to the break with a 32-30 lead.
Childs led both teams with 10 points at the half while making five of seven attempts from the field. The Cougars spread the ball around recording 11 assists on 13 made field goals. Toolson led the team with four assists while Haws and Harding added three each.
After a layup from Childs, Oral Roberts tied the game up at 34-all two minutes into the second half. Dalton Nixon broke the tie with a free throw before Haws and Childs knocked down a pair of two-point shots to extend the lead to 39-34. Toolson added a 3-pointer to give BYU a six-point lead, 42-36. The Golden Eagles answered by scoring on their next three possessions to tie the game back up at 42 with 15:05 remaining.
Toolson led the Cougars on a 12-2 run scoring five points and lobbing the ball to Childs for a one-handed jam. Trailing 54-44, Oral Roberts outscored BYU 7-2 to cut the lead to five points. Haws answered with a 3-pointer to make the score 59-51 with 9:17 left in the game.
Childs added a layup and made two free throws to help the Cougars maintain a 63-57 lead as the Golden Eagles continued to keep the game close. With 5:11 on the clock, Toolson scored a baseline hook shot from the block to answer a 3-pointer from Oral Roberts and give BYU a five-point lead, 65-60.
The Golden Eagles scored a pair of treys to tie the game up at 67-all with 2:15 remaining. After receiving the ball in the post, Childs kicked the ball back out to an open Toolson who broke the tie with a 3-pointer from the wing.
With under a minute remaining, a step back jumper from Toolson and a fast break two-handed dunk from Haws boosted the Cougars’ advantage to six points. Haws put the game out of reach streaking the entire court on an out of bounds play for a layup to give BYU a 77-69 lead.
Nixon knocked down a pair of free throws and Oral Roberts added a pair of layups in the waning moments as the Cougars held on to claim the 79-73 victory.
BYU will host Loyola Marymount at the Marriott Center to open West Coast Conference play on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 7 p.m. MST. The game will be televised on BYUtv and radio broadcasts will be available on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM. Tickets can be purchased on byutickets.com.
- Yoeli Childs hit 10 of 14 from the field for 23 points while added seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Over the last two games he has hit 21 of 27 from the field. It was Childs’ fourth 20-point game of the season and 37th of his career – the seventh-most 20-point games in BYU history.
- Childs cracked the top-10 in career scoring at BYU, passing Mark Bigelow for 10th all-time. Childs now has 1,736 career points.
- Jake Toolson totaled 22 points, six rebounds and eight assists. He hit 7 of 11 from the field, 4 of 8 from 3-point range and 4 of 4 from the free throw line. It was his seventh game this season with three-plus 3-point field goals. Toolson has scored 20-plus points four times and reached double figures 11 times. He has hit a 3-pointer in all but one game this season.
- TJ Haws totaled 14 points, six rebounds, one steal and one block. He has scored in double figures 12 times this season and made a 3-pointer in all but two games.
- BYU assisted on 21 of 28 made field goals. It was the team’s fourth game this season and second-straight with 20-plus assists.
Head Coach Mark Pope
On team rebounding
We gave up 16 offensive rebounds and that’s not great. We didn’t answer the bell as well as I would have liked to there. I wasn’t ecstatic about our post defense and we’ve got to grow. We’ll have to try some different things schematically. We went to a full front in the final few minutes and that really helped us. We have to keep working on ourselves in the glass.
On the close game
They had some guys make some shots and they were really effective inside. Nzekwesi is a really good player and he can do a lot of things. I thought we did a decent job on Obanor, he was their leading returning scorer from last year and he is very versatile. It was such a slow game but it was also a high scoring game.
Forward Yoeli Childs
On entering BYU's top 10 all-time scoring list
Gotta shoot a lot of shots to score points. I’m just grateful for my teammates and how much they feed me. This coaching staff as well as the past coaching staff both draw up a lot of plays for me. If you throw up a lot of stuff, it should go in sometime.
On the overall game
I think we’re really good at managing our energy and battling through adversity. Everyone picks each other up and is aware of their body language and frustration that goes on throughout a game, and we just battle that until the outcome is what we want. It’s been really exciting to see and it makes me look forward to conference play.
We tried to have a mob mentality on the glass. We weren’t great there tonight. They were really good on the glass, so credit to them and what they do. We've just got to be better, and we’re really good when we have all five guys go to the glass and we hit. We were really good at times and really bad at times, so we’re trying to figure that out.
Guard Jake Toolson
On the close game
It was kind of back and forth, they were making plays and we were making plays. We just wanted to get a good look. Some people try to make hero plays down the stretch by themselves, but we were able to do it together. I’m happy with the looks we got and down the stretch, we grinded it out.
On the team's shooting
Coach told us to keep shooting shots and owning the shots that we take, and that’s what we do. We were able to see a couple fall in the second half, but there’s going to be nights that we’re not shooting at a high clip, but we’re going to keep letting them fly because that’s what we do. It helps to have Yo to throw the ball into. If they don’t get a double, he’s going to get to the basket or the free throw line. If they do bring a double, like you saw down the stretch, he is able to kick it out for open looks. I think we’re going to keep owning the shots that we shoot, and they’re going to fall.