HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Charles Abouo scored a game-high 22 points and Noah Hartsock added 21 to lead BYU to a convincing 76-55 victory over the University of Nevada in the Chicago Invitational Challenge on Friday night at the Sears Centre.
The win sends the Cougars (4-1) to tomorrow night's championship game against the winner of the Wisconsin-Bradley game, tipping off after the BYU-Nevada contest. The Wisconsin Badgers are ranked No. 11 in the country.
Abouo drilled four of the Cougars' 3-pointers in the second half against Nevada's zone defense. The Wolfpack (3-3) pulled to within five points in the second half but couldn't get any closer.
BYU led by as many as 24 late in the second half.
Hartsock knocked down 9 of 12 shots from the floor, while Abouo was 8-of-12.
As a team, the Cougars shot 54 percent from the field.
Redshirt freshman Anson Winder got his first career start and played well, scoring nine points. He also had four assists and four steals.
In the first half, BYU started off on fire, going on a 16-0 run that put the Cougars up 24-6 as Nevada missed nine of its first 11 shots.
But at that point, Brandon Davies came out of the game and the Wolfpack immediately scored nine unanswered points to get back into the game, 24-15. Nevada drilled a pair of 3-pointers, including one at the first-half buzzer, to make it 34-27 at intermission.