Balanced attack leads BYU past Pacific, 91-62
PROVO, Utah – With five players scoring in double digits for the first time this season, BYU basketball roared past Pacific 91-62 in the Marriott Center on Saturday night.
"I’m proud of the guys," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "I think they responded well to a missed opportunity the other night. I thought defensively we had a good start to the game. Second half, we did really well offensively and we shared the ball well. There were a lot of things I thought the guys were good at, and I’m happy for the win."
BYU improves to 12-5 overall and 3-1 in West Coast Conference play. The Cougars outshot the Tigers (7-10, 1-3 WCC) 51 percent to 34 percent. The BYU bench had a big contribution in the win, scoring 30 points.
Sophomores Eric Mika and Elijah Bryant led the team in scoring with 17 points apiece, a career-high for Bryant. Mika earned his ninth double-double of the season with 10 rebounds. Freshman TJ Haws notched 15 points, including three treys, along with a career-high seven boards. Yoeli Childs had 15 points and eight rebounds in the winning effort, while Nick Emery chipped in 12 points.
BYU jumped out to an early 8-1 lead at the 17:36 mark after threes from Haws and Emery. The defense held Pacific without a field goal in the first three minutes of the game.
Bryant scored six points of a 10-2 run, including a 3-pointer, to push the Cougars to their first double-digit lead, 25-14, with 10:05 left in the half.
The offense kept rolling, going on an 8-2 run highlighted by Mika’s four points and an assist to Steven Beo. That put BYU up 33-18 with 6:57 until the break.
With 3:30 on the clock, Bryant euro-stepped his way to a layup, extending the lead to 40-25. In the last two minutes before halftime, Childs and TJ Haws went a perfect 4 for 4 from the free throw line. Bryant’s trey with 35 seconds left gave the Cougars a 47-29 lead at the break.
BYU came out strong in the second half, jumping to a 9-2 run in the first two minutes to push the lead to 56-33. During that run, a 3-pointer from L.J. Rose in the corner rolled in for the Cougars’ first 20-point lead of the game.
Haws connected with Mika for back-to-back alley-oops to spark an 8-0 run for BYU, putting the home team up 64-35 with 14:53 to play.
After a couple of buckets from the Tigers, the Cougars scored seven unanswered points, led by four points from Childs. A 3-pointer from Emery in that run gave BYU a 32-point lead, 74-42, with 10:43 on the clock. It was the first time the Cougars went up by more than 30 in the game.
Two-straight 3-pointers from Colby Leifson and Haws extended the lead to 86-52 with 6:38 left. BYU was held scoreless for three minutes until Leifson drilled another three from the corner, making it 89-55. A jumper from Beo made the final score 91-60.
BYU remains in the Marriott Center for its next game against San Francisco on Thursday, Jan. 12, at 7 p.m. MST. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv, along with a radio broadcast on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM and BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143.
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