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Mika, Haws lead BYU Basketball past Pacific in sluggish victory

The tape of this game won’t be sent to the Naismith Hall of Fame, but BYU took advantage of a cold shooting night from Pacific to earn a crucial road victory in conference play.

NCAA Basketball: Pepperdine at Brigham Young Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Mika recorded his 7th consecutive double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds as the BYU Cougars earned a hard-fought victory over the Pacific Tigers by a score of 62-47 in Stockton, CA. T.J. Haws added 16 points on 6/11 shooting to go with 5 assists, while Yoeli Childs grabbed 14 rebounds for the second game in a row. Elijah Bryant provided valuable contributions off the bench once again, finishing with 9 points and 3 assists. Of the six Pacific players who attempted more than one shot, none of them reached 50% shooting. As a team, the Tigers shot an anemic 19/61 (31.1%) from the field and went just 3/16 from beyond the arc.

The first 20 minutes of the game was full of runs. BYU went on a 9-1 run to take a 17-8 lead with 10:30 remaining, then Pacific answered with a 9-0 run to tie the game at 17. The Cougars followed the Tigers’ charge with an 11 unanswered points, and went to the locker room with a 29-22 lead. 8 first half turnovers prevented BYU from expanding their lead even further.

Pacific scored two baskets on their first offensive possession of the second half: Ray Bowles converted on a tip-in while being fouled, missed the and-one free throw, and then T.J. Wallace hit a jumper after the Tigers rebounded the missed free throw. After going scoreless in the first half, Nick Emery scored the first 8 points for BYU in the second half to expand the Cougar lead to 37-28. While Emery then injured himself while attempting a transition layup, Elijah Bryant entered the game and made a great play to drive to the basket to find Mika rolling to the basket for a dunk plus the foul shot, to expand the lead to 45-33 at the second media timeout.

Pacific missed countless opportunities around the basket, and were never able to put any pressure on BYU, as the Cougars cruised to a comfortable 62-47 victory on the road. A combination of disciplined Cougar defense and poor shooting from the Tigers allowed BYU to give up their fewest points allowed in a game this season.

News and Notes

  • Nick Emery did not return to the game after sustaining a left knee injury early in the second half. He limped off the floor and was riding a stationary bike during timeouts.
  • BYU gave up 14 offensive rebounds, which doesn’t look quite as bad when you consider the number of point blank shots the Tigers missed around the rim.
  • Team +/- numbers for BYU’s primary three centers: Mika (+28 in 32 minutes), Shaw (-1 in 8 minutes), Kaufusi (-9 in 7 minutes)
  • BYU free throw shooting by position: Forwards/Centers (7/8), Guards (1/4)