BYU was able to bounce back and avoid a down game hangover following a tough road loss to Saint Mary’s against the University of Pacific. The Cougars won by a score of 91-62.
The first half saw the Cougars jump out to a 11-3 lead after the first four minutes. All 11 points were scored by the “Lone Peak 3.”
The Cougars were able to extend their led by defending the 3 and making the outside shot. BYU kept Pacific from scoring from distance forcing the Tigers to shoot 0-for-8. On offense, BYU shot 5-for-11 from three.
In addition to an outside barrage, the Cougars forced the ball to the rim and were able to get to the free throw line 17 times — making 16 of their attempts.
At halftime, BYU carried the lead by 18, 47-29. Eric Mika had 11 points and 9 rebounds, while Elijah Bryant led the Cougars in scoring with 13 points. Both Mika and Bryant would finish tied for a team high 17 points.
The 2nd half got off to a hot start with a pair a TJ Haws to Eric Mika alley oops.
The first came as Haws was bringing the ball up the floor. Haws and Mika locked eyes briefly, then Eric darted off. As TJ crossed the half court line, he threw a laser with a destination to the opposite side of the rim about 11 feet high. Eric Mika retrieved the dish after outrunning a lazy Pacific transition and hammered it home with two hands. The pass more impressive than the finish. Both Haws and Mika went back on defense as if a routine 10-footer was just made. Ho-hum, I guess.
The next possession, Haws had the ball on the left wing. Mika came up to being a pick and roll move. Eric’s screen was slipped and TJ drew 3 defenders as he dribble toward the lane. Haws settled up on the right elbow of the key and lobbed the ball over the 3 Pacific defenders. Awaiting the floater was the star Cougar center, who reached off balance up with his left hand, collected it one handed, and rocked the rim with his off hand. Whoa. This time Mika and Haws were pretty happy.
From there the Cougars cruised as the Y bench players extended the lead to 29 points. Highlighted by two 3 pointers from Colby Leifson.
BYU improve to 3-1 in West Coast Conference play. Their next game is against the San Francisco Dons on Thursday, January 12.