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Childs, Bryant lead BYU Basketball past Pacific

NCAA Basketball: Brigham Young at St. Mary’s Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Yoeli Childs and Elijah Bryant combined for 54 points on 18/24 shooting as the BYU Cougars (18-5, 7-3) avenged their earlier loss at Pacific by defeating the Tigers (10-13, 5-5) by a score of 80-65 at the Marriott Center on Saturday night. Childs finished with 26 points on 10/15 shooting, while Bryant had a nearly flawless shooting performance, going 8/9 from the field, 4/4 from three, and 8/9 at the foul line. While TJ Haws’ hot shooting did not continue tonight, his team-high 7 assists compensated for his 0/5 shooting from beyond the arc.

Childs, who dealt with an illness in the Saint Mary’s loss on Thursday, came off the bench tonight, entering at the first media timeout. The Cougars struggled taking care of the ball, committing 4 turnovers in the first 8 minutes as Pacific jumped out to a 20-12 lead midway through the first half. A Payton Dastrup three pointer followed by a transition layup plus the foul shot from Bryant cut the Tiger lead down to a pair. Childs scored his first basket by tipping in his own miss to tie the game at 24 a few minutes later. BYU then took the lead when McKay Cannon threw a sky-high alley-oop pass to Childs who rose up and threw it down with one hand. TJ Haws scored just two points on on 1/4 shooting as BYU trailed Pacific 33-30 at the end of the first half.

The game remained in Pacific’s control until Dalton Nixon scored just his second basket since returning from injury on a layup from Haws (plus the foul shot) to give BYU a 47-44 lead with 12:24 remaining in the game. Bryant followed with a pair of three pointers and Childs added a bucket in the post to extend the BYU lead to nine points, capping off a 16-2 Cougar run. With the lead still at nine, Pacific’s Roberto Gallinat converted on a three pointer while Haws fouled him in the act of shooting for his 4th personal foul.

Haws made up for that mental mistake with an excellent lob pass to Childs down low for a dunk (and a three point play) to bring the lead back to nine. A clear path technical foul committed by Pacific on the next possession sealed the fate of this game, as BYU hit a large number of free throws (including a flagrant-2 foul committed by Pacific’s Gallinat against TJ Haws) in the final minutes for a comfortable 80-65 victory.

BYU will be back on the road at Loyola Marymount and Gonzaga next week, as the Cougars will be looking to earn their fourth consecutive victory in Spokane on Saturday.