The BYU men’s basketball team will travel to Pepperdine to play its third consecutive road game before returning home Saturday night.
The Cougars begin their second half of conference play, competing against the WCC teams for the second time this season.
“I think all the teams have us scouted out and have our plays scouted out,” guard Tyler Haws said. “I think (to win) a lot of it is coming out aggressive and playing on attack for 40 minutes, and I have confidence that if we run our stuff right and play at the pace we want to, our stuff will work against anyone.”
Half of BYU’s losses have come on the road as the team now owns a 4–3 road record following its win in Portland. It hasn’t been an easy task for the Cougars, but they like the challenge.
“We like playing on the road,” forward Brandon Davies said. “They’re the toughest wins to get. When you can go into anyone’s place and get a win, it’s a big one in this conference.”
With only nine games left in the season, before the WCC tournament, every game is a must-win for BYU. Davies said they need to take each game one at a time but also must win every game starting Thursday night. Historically, BYU Head Coach Dave Rose has won a lot of games this time around the year.
“Coach Rose understands the importance of the next game and not looking ahead and not looking behind,” BYU Assistant Coach Terry Nashif said. “He’s an unbelievable motivator and unbelievably consistent.”
BYU (16–6, 6–2 WCC) won the last meeting against the Pepperdine Waves (10–10, 2–5 WCC) at the Marriott Center 76–51. Waves’ guard Jordan Baker finished the game with an efficient 20 points and must be kept in check the second time around. Haws scored a game-high 24 points but knows it will be different playing on the road.
“(Our coaches) told us that we don’t get a lot of transition buckets when (Pepperdine) plays at home,” Haws said. “We have to be able to find a way to play at our pace and play up-tempo.”
The Waves will welcome the Cougars to the Firestone Fieldhouse on Thursday at 7 p.m. PST. The game will be televised on TWC Sports and Root Sports and can be heard on KSL radio.