BYU dominates Colorado College 95-35 in final exhibition game
PROVO, Utah – Five Cougars scored in double figures as BYU men’s basketball dominated Colorado College in a 95-35 victory Wednesday night at the Marriott Center.
Zac Seljaas led all scorers with 19 points in 18 minutes of play and hit 6 of 9 3-pointers. TJ Haws and Elijah Bryant added 13 and 12 points, respectively, while Yoeli Childs and Jahshire Hardnett had 11 apiece. Childs also pulled down 17 rebounds, earning his third-consecutive double-double in each of the three exhibition games.
The Cougars outrebounded the Tigers 55-24 while out-shooting 52 percent to 24 percent from the field.
After missing its first six shots, BYU scored nine unanswered points and took an early 12-3 lead on four-consecutive 3-pointers from TJ Haws, Zac Seljaas and Elijah Bryant.
Strong 3-point shooting enabled the Cougars to build a comfortable lead, taking a 34-point advantage at halftime, 48-14. BYU hit nine first-half 3-pointers, including three from both Haws and Seljaas as well as one from Bryant, Hardnett and Dalton Nixon.
Haws and Seljaas scored double digits by halftime with 13 and 10 points, respectively, in the Cougars’ highest-scoring half of the exhibition season.
Seljaas opened the second half hot, hitting three-consecutive shots from beyond the arc, sparking a 9-0 run for a commanding 57-18 lead.
Bryant and Hardnett both added jumpers and perfect trips to the charity stripe to extend the Cougars’ lead, 64-18, with 13:36 on the clock.
BYU steadily increased its lead to 59 points until Colorado College sunk back-to-back 3-pointers, 77-24. The teams traded baskets and free throws as the Tigers cut the lead to 52, 83-31, with 5:24 left in the game.
The Cougars continued their dominant performance for a 30-point, 95-35 win.
BYU opens the 2017-18 season on Saturday at home against Mississippi Valley State. The game will tip at 7 p.m. MST and will be televised live on BYUtv and broadcast on the BYU Sports Network on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143, KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM and BYUcougars.com.
BYU head coach Dave Rose
"I think it was a well-played game on our part. We were really dialed in as a group on both ends of the floor. When you play a 40-minute game, score 90 points and only turn the ball over six times — that’s a good sign.”
“On the defensive end, we accomplished our goal. We wanted them to take hard shots, mid-range shots, and not do what they are really good at, which is shooting 3s.”
“When you sum up the three exhibition games, it has been really good for this group, and we are getting better. Our second half in this game was much better than last week’s second half against Westminster. It has to do with our mindset and our focus.”
Junior guard Elijah Bryant
“I think we focused on defense the second half. I think that was the biggest thing — to come out and focus on defense. I think it’s easy to get the mindset of, ‘Oh we’re up. We can make a lot of mistakes,’ but late in the season we need to be able to come out and put a team down.”
Missing the first six shots and then going on a run
“That’s just basketball. You’ve got to shoot with confidence. I think when everyone shoots with confidence, we get one to go in and then they all started going in.”
Junior forward Luke Worthington
“There’s a flow to the offense when we get stops on D. As weird as it sounds when we play well on defense and we get a few stops in a row, everybody’s comfortable on the floor so the ball moves and it doesn’t stick anywhere. You find the open guy and make the right play like Coach is always telling us to do.”
Being named a captain
“I’m really excited that I’ve been able to garner the respect of my teammates and more than anything, I think it’s just a position to influence other guys for good. Elijah and I both have a lot of experience. We both have more experience than a lot of other guys."
"My primary goal for me and Elijah is just to love them, help them and have a stable season where everybody feels involved and everybody feels like they’re a part of it.”
“I feel more ready than ever and I think our team does too. I think it was pretty valuable getting to go on the road to New Mexico and play in that atmosphere against a good team and then play two exhibition games here. We’ve really gotten to know each other and we’re just playing well together. I feel like heading into this game, we’re as prepared as we can be. We just hope these wins carry over into the real season when the games count."
Biggest difference between this game and the regular season
“I think it brings a whole new level of excitement from us, at least from me when I think about it being a real game. Exhibition games are fun but when it counts, it’s most important. These are the things that will build off each other."
"We’re just excited more than anything to play a game and have it count as a W on the record.”
BYU finishes up its three-game home stand on Saturday, February 4, when the Cougars host Pacific at the Marriott Center…