Cougars display offensive firepower in win over BYU-Hawaii

LJ Rose dribbles the ball down the court. Rose dished out 10 assists in BYU's victory over BYU-Hawaii. (Ari Davis)
LJ Rose dribbles the ball down the court. Rose dished out 10 assists in BYU’s victory over BYU-Hawaii. (Ari Davis)

The BYU basketball team routed the BYU-Hawaii Seasiders 110-63 on Wednesday night in the Cougars’ second and final exhibition game.

The Cougar faithful flocked by the thousands to the Marriott Center to see the men’s basketball team take the court one last time before the start of the regular season.

“Well, I think that’s a good tune-up for what we got ahead of us,” head coach Dave Rose said. “I think we’re ready to go. Ready to get started.”

Injured players LJ Rose and Elijah Bryant are now healthy and played significant minutes in the game. Rose started the game with fellow captains Nick Emery and Kyle Davis, along with Eric Mika and T.J. Haws. With Bryant and LJ Rose back in action, fans were able to see a lineup that likely resembles the team coach Rose will field to start the season.

LJ Rose plays the point guard position with patience and experience.

“I like his size. I like how active he is. I think that he’s a pass-first guy, with the ability to score.” Dave Rose said of LJ’s performance. “He plays with a lot of confidence.”

LJ Rose showed his ability to be a pass-first point guard, finishing the night with 10 assists and eight rebounds.

“I like to get my teammates going,” LJ Rose said. “That gets me going.”

Elijah Bryant sat out all last season due to NCAA transfer rules. Tonight was his first chance to play a game as a Cougar and Bryant said it was a “big mental step” for him.

Bryant has been cleared to play by team doctors but was limited to 10 minutes of play as a precaution. He is expected to contribute more in the Princeton game and Dave Rose expects he will make a big step forward from this exhibition.

The Cougars started off hot against the Seasiders, quickly taking the lead 14-5 in the beginning minutes of the game.

However, the Seasiders went on a run to cut the cougar lead down to 23-21 near the middle of the first half.

“We make a lot of silly mistakes and try to play through them. We’ve got to clean that up really quick because it will cost us,” Dave Rose said.

The Cougar offense was able to find a rhythm and went into halftime leading 53-35.

A lot of the production in the first half came from the post positions. Mika, Davis and Yoeli Childs combined for 29 points.

The Cougars continued their scoring barrage in the second half, tallying 57 points in the final 20 minutes. Every available player saw time during the game.

BYU finished the night shooting 53 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range.

The exhibition game marks the last time the sister schools will compete against each other as BYU-Hawaii will be ending its athletic program at the end of the year.

“I think anyone in the sports world will think it’s a sad situation,” Dave Rose said. “I’m glad that they got a chance to come and play.”

The Cougars will return to the Marriott Center on Nov. 14 to take on the Princeton Tigers in the first game of the regular season.

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