Bryant leads BYU to a 91-61 win over MVSU
PROVO, Utah – Junior guard Elijah Bryant led the BYU men’s basketball team to a 91-61 victory over Mississippi Valley State in the season opener Saturday night at the Marriott Center.
"I thought we had a really good game plan tonight and executed it well," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "Tonight, Elijah was near perfect in his offensive execution. He was patient, had a good pace and was aggressive. You always want to get that first win. It's important for the team and their confidence."
Bryant scored 27 points, shooting 10 of 11 from the field (.909 percent) for a BYU record for field goal percentage in a season opener. TJ Haws added 14 points, five assists and four rebounds. Yoeli Childs recorded his sixth career double-double with 13 points and 10 boards. Childs also led the team with six assists and five blocks, both career highs. Zac Seljaas contributed 11 points.
Bryant put the Cougars (1-0) on the board first with a layup and Seljaas converted on a three-point play to give BYU an early 5-0 lead.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Haws and an offensive rebound by Dalton Nixon for a bucket put the Cougars up 18-10 after eight minutes of play. The Delta Devils (0-1) answered with six consecutive points to cut the deficit down to two, 18-16.
A Childs jumper with 9:37 to play in the first half started the Cougars on a 29-7 run, which included 12 points by Bryant and two treys by Seljaas for a 47-23 advantage at halftime.
After one half, Bryant led all scorers with 16 points and Seljaas tallied nine. BYU shot 55.6 percent from the field compared to Mississippi Valley’s 31.4 percent.
The second half started with a free-throw by the Delta Devils, but the Cougars answered with an 8-0 run. A three-pointer by MVSU’s Dante Scott temporarily ended the run with BYU ahead 57-27 with 16:28 to play.
The two teams exchanged baskets for the remainder of the game and was highlighted by a steal by Kajon Brown and a three-point conversion by Haws. With 7:44 remaining in the game, Childs scored a free-throw to give the Cougars a 41-point lead, the largest of the night.
On the night, BYU shot 58.9 percent from the field and held the Delta Devils to only 37.5 percent.
The Cougars travel to New Jersey on Wednesday, Nov. 15 as they take on the Princeton Tigers. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST. Live coverage will be available on NBC Sports Philadelphia and California and will be streamed on the Ivy League Network. Audio broadcasts can be heard via the BYU Sports Network, BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143) and KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM.
BYU basketball will host Mississippi Valley State in the season opener Saturday at 7 p.m. MST in the Marriott Center. Saturday's game will be televised live on BYUtv and broadcast live on the BYU Sports Network on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143 and 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
BYU enters the 2017-18 season riding streaks of 12-straight 20-wins seasons and 12-straight trips to the postseason. Last season the Cougars won 22 games and received an at-large bid to the NIT. During the last 12 seasons, BYU has received eight at-large bids to the NCAA tournament and four to the NIT.
Sophomores Yoeli Childs and TJ Haws were named to the 2017-18 All-WCC Preseason Men’s Basketball Team, as voted on by the league’s coaches. Both Childs and Haws were named to the All-WCC Freshman Team in 2016-17 while Haws earned All-WCC First Team honors.
BYU coach Dave Rose welcomes the return of four players from LDS missions, including junior Luke Worthington and sophomores Ryan Andrus, Dalton Nixon and Zac Seljaas.
BYU Cougars (0-0, 0-0 WCC)
- Head Coach: Dave Rose
- Alma Mater: Houston, 1983
- Division I Career Record: 305-111 (13th)
- Record at BYU: Same
Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils (0-0, 0-0 SWAC)
- Head Coach: Andre Payne
- Alma Mater: Alabama A&M, 1997
- Career Record: 260-261 (17th)
- Record at MVSU: 21-78 (4th)
- TV: BYUtv
- Dave McCann (play-by-play), Blaine Fowler (analyst), Spencer Linton (courtside)
- Live Video: BYUtv.org
- Radio: BYU Sports Network, BYU Radio Sirius XM 143, 102.7 FM/1160 AM
- Radio Talent: Greg Wrubell (play-by-play), Mark Durrant (analyst)
- Live Stats: BYUcougars.com
Series Record: BYU leads 2-0
Last Meeting: BYU won 75-68, 11/25/16
Season and home openers under Rose
Freshman 3-point field goals
BYU’s 2016-17 roster includes the players who hold the top three spots for 3-point field goals by a freshman. Nick Emery and Zac Seljaas both smashed the previous record of 44 in 2015-16. Emery hit 97 3-pointers for the current freshman record and fourth most in a season in BYU history, while Seljaas hit 68. Last season, Haws hit a team-high 76 3-pointers for second most by a Cougar freshman.
BYU’s 2017-18 roster includes three players who etched their names in the BYU record book during the freshman seasons. Yoeli Childs and TJ Haws were freshmen in 2016-17 while Zac Seljaas was a rookie in 2015-16. All three are back this season, looking to build on their record-setting freshman campaigns. Childs finished his freshman year first all-time among BYU freshmen in rebounds and second in rebounds per game, blocks, blocks per game and field goal percentage.
Haws concluded his first year second all-time among BYU freshmen in 3-point field goals, fourth in points scored, fifth in assists, tied for first in games started and third in double figure scoring games. Seljaas finished the 2015-16 season first all-time among BYU freshmen in 3-point field goal percentage, second in 3-point field goals, second in 3-point field goals per game, second in games with 3-plus 3-point field goals and tied for second most games with 5-plus 3-pointers.
TJ Haws earned first-team All-WCC honors as a freshman in 2016-17, becoming the third Haws in BYU history to earn all-league honors. His father Marty Haws earned first-team All-WAC honors as a senior in 1989-90 and his brother Tyler was a four-time all-league honoree. As a freshman in 2009-10, Tyler was named to the All-Mountain West Conference Third Team. Following a two-year mission for the LDS Church, Tyler earned first-team honors as a sophomore, junior and senior. In addition to joining his father and brother as an all-conference performer, TJ became the second Cougar in program history – the other being Danny Ainge – to earn first-team all-league honors as a freshman.
BYU head coach Dave Rose has led the Cougars to one of the most successful eras in program history since taking over in 2005. His career record of 305-111 ranks him second in BYU history in total victories and first in winning percentage (.733). Rose has been named conference coach of the year three times, led the Cougars to four conference titles, eight NCAA tournament appearances, four NIT appearances, eight 25-win seasons and 12 20-win seasons.
BYU and the Postseason
Under Dave Rose, BYU has reached the postseason in 12-straight seasons, a school record. The previous record was six-straight seasons (1989-90 to 1994-95). During that time the Cougars have earned eight bids to the NCAA tournament and four to the NIT. The Cougars’ eight NCAA tournament bids in the last 12 years are more than 200-plus NCAA Division I schools have since beginning their programs.