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BYU explodes late to beat UCLA in Maui Invitational first round

2019 Maui Invitational - BYU v UCLA Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

BYU played its best game of the year and beat UCLA 78-63 Monday night in the first round of the Maui Invitational.

BYU shot 62%, but it was their defense late that pushed them ahead to a comfortable victory. Jake Toolson led all scorers with 20 points and TJ Haws game alive in the second half to finish with 15 points. Kolby Lee chipped in 13 points and Zac Seljaas played a great game off the bench and finished with 9 points and 11 rebounds.

BYU was down 51-52 midway through the second half, but the defense clamped down and BYU’s offense capitalized to finish the game on a 27-11 run. TJ Haws has largely struggled to find his shot the whole season, but his passing and timely shots down the stretch really carried BYU during crunch time. UCLA had superior size, but BYU hung tough on the boards and narrowly lost the rebounding margin, 28-26.

BYU next faces a huge test Tuesday night when the play 4th-ranked Kansas in the semifinals. The game will be 8:30 pm PST on ESPN.