PROVO, Utah – BYU men’s basketball stormed past BYU-Hawaii in a blowout 110-63 victory Wednesday night at the Marriott Center.
“I think that was a good tune-up for what we have ahead of us," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "I was really happy that we got all of our guys on the floor with a chance to play and get a feel of the gym. Now we have a real challenge in our preparation for Princeton. They are a really good team. I’m excited to get out there and play them."
Seven players scored double digits, including four starters and three individuals off the bench. Senior forward Kyle Davis led the Cougars with 16 points, followed by Eric Mika and TJ Haws’ 15 points. Sophomore guard Nick Emery scored 14 points while Colby Leifson had 12. Braiden Shaw and Yoeli Childs contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Cougars dominated and held the lead throughout the game, leading by as many as 52 points in the second half and outshooting the Seasiders 52.3 percent to 29.9 percent on the night.
BYU started the game on a 6-0 run propelled by three jump shots, two from Davis and one from Mika before taking an early 9-2 lead.
The Seasiders fought back on a 4-0 run of their own to close the Cougars’ lead to five points with a score of 14-9, followed by another rally to come back within two, 16-14, with 14:08 left in the half.
BYU-Hawaii capitalized on a 3-pointer and dunk to bring the score within two again, 25-23. Childs scored on a jumper and back-to-back dunks to give BYU a 10-point lead, 33-23 with 7:27 left in the half.
Davis and Emery combined for eight points in two minutes. An Emery 3-pointer brought the Cougar lead to 12 points for the second time in the first half, extending their lead 41-29 with 4:35 on the clock.
Mika opened the second half with a dunk on a pass from Haws, followed by offensive contributions from Haws, Davis, Emery and Childs en route to a 20-point 64-44 lead.
BYU held BYU-Hawaii scoreless for over eight minutes, scoring 22 unanswered points during the Seasiders’ drought as the Cougars extended their advantage to 40 points, 84-44 with 8:24 left.
Leifson made four second-half shots from beyond the arc, while Shaw scored 11 points within the final three minutes of the game. BYU ended the night with a final score of 110-63 over BYU-Hawaii.
The Cougars host Princeton in the ESPN Tip-Off Marathon Monday, Nov. 14, at 8 p.m. MST. The game will be televised on ESPN2 and and audio broadcasts can be heard on the Cougar IMG Network, KSL Radio (1160 AM and 102.7 FM) and BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143).
BYU Coach Dave Rose
“I’m excited to get out there and play them (Princeton). I think the one advantage they have is that they’ve been together for quite awhile. I love our group and I’m anxious to get on this journey with them. You can tell there’s a lot of inexperienced plays out there and we make a lot of silly mistakes that we play through, but we have to clean that up because it will cost us on Monday. It’s a young group and we’re going to see a lot of stuff. We’re going to see a lot of things that excite you. You watch them grow and I’m excited to get started.”
On playing BYU-Hawaii in their last season
“I think anybody in the sports world will think it’s a sad situation; similar to Rick’s College when they dropped their program. I’ve known the coaches for a long time. I’m glad they got a chance to come and play.”
On the play of L.J. Rose
“I like his size, I like how active he is. The few minutes he played he rebounded the ball really well. I think that he is a pass first guy with the ability to score. You get a lot of pass first guys that sometime are really challenged offensively; he’s got a great offensive game but he’s a pass first guy. I like his confidence, he plays with a lot of confidence. The thing that was important for tonight was to get him and Elijah Bryant on the court. It’s been a long stretch with a lot of workouts and time in the gym. I’m glad we got that opportunity today.”
On the play of Elijah Bryant
“What you saw tonight is where he’s been the last two or three days. We wanted to play him about 10 minutes tonight – five at the start and five at the end. I know right now I am way happier about this than he is. I think he felt a little frustrated at times, but I think there’s huge improvement.”
BYU Hawaii Coach Gabe Roberts
"I thought we started off really well because we were trying to stay within ourselves and not trying to do too much. Of course they're going to outrebound us and get a lot of points in the paint. We knew that was to be expected, but we couldn't just give up everything. And as the game went on, I don't know if the elevation plays into it, you start getting physically fatigued and then mentally fatigued because we stopped churning offense. All of the sudden it was just fire away at will at 3s. If you're making them, that's great, but if you're not, you've just got to keep working to get a better shot."
"I think the best part that I saw was when we started. We actually did a descent job on their shooters in the first half. They weren't making as many 3s as they're capable of. Our defenders did a good job of staying on the shooters. They made some, but didn't get as many. The second half was when we started to get a little tired and they had guys go off."
"The main thing is, you have to focus on technique. Sometimes if you're a good enough rebounder you can just go up and get the ball, but if you get pushed up too far into the basket – if you don't block out before they get inside the paint – then it just goes to the taller guy, whoever’s the tallest is going to get it. You've got to box them out early so that when it bounces it's actually in front of you and you can get to the ball. We've got to work on that technique a little bit better."
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