Cougar men’s hoops records first win of season

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The BYU men’s basketball team took down BYU-Hawaii, 73-52, Tuesday night in the Marriott Center in the team’s season home opener.

BYU’s defense held BYU-Hawaii to only 17 points in the first half  and held Division II preseason All-American Jet Chang scoreless through the first 12 minutes of play.

“I was really pleased at how we started the game defensively,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “We were aggressive not only individually … but as a team we helped really well, we contested shots, we were really active in some of the schemes we were working in and that’s really pleasing to a staff.”

[media-credit name=”Luke Hansen” align=”alignright” width=”212″][/media-credit]
BYU guard Craig Cusick lays the ball up on Tuesday night in the Marriott Center. The Cougars lead the Seasiders 40-17 at the half. - Luke Hansen
The Cougars jumped out to a fast start, scoring the game’s first 13 points. Through 1o minutes of play, the Cougars led the Seasiders 23-3, and at one point in the first half held a 26-point lead. Center Brandon Davies scored 14 of the team’s first 21 points, while only missing one shot. As the teams entered the locker room for halftime, BYU led 40-17.

“Brandon was terrific to start the game,” Rose said. “Brandon knows that this team needs him. He got the chance to digest that for the last couple days especially when you’re sitting on a loss. The guys not only have to be assigned roles but they realize the roles that they need to play and I think that … Brandon understands that we need him.”

In the second half, the Seasiders made multiple comeback attempts but never came closer than within 15 points.

BYU-Hawaii guard Jake Dastrup scored 12 in the second half after not scoring at all in the first half. Dastrup hit four 3-pointers to help cut into the lead, but the Cougars responded with big shots by Stephen Rogers and Noah Hartsock to keep the Seasiders at bay.

Davies led the Cougars on the night with a career-high 25 points and also pulled in six rebounds. Hartsock also contributed double-digit points, scoring  14, while pulling in nine rebounds.

The Seasiders were led by Chang and Dastrup, who ended the night with 12 points each.

The Cougars return to action this Friday at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center as they take on Longwood in their first game of the Chicago Invitational Tournament.

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