BYU has notched postseason wins the past four seasons
PROVO — While BYU coach Dave Rose was thrilled his team advanced to the second round of the National Invitation Tournament, he said Tuesday's win also helped solidify postseason consistency for his program.
Asked about what the victory over the Huskies meant to the future of his team, Rose answered by putting the win into a long-term perspective.
"What's really important for younger guys to see is that it's four seasons in a row that we've won a postseason game," Rose said. "That's a really positive sign for your program, that your guys can get to the postseason and execute game plan and play with each other and move forward. Hopefully, we can continue to do that."
For BYU, four consecutive seasons with postseason victories is no small feat. Consider that since 1995, the Cougars have won just eight postseason games — and five of those have come in the last four years. BYU is 8-13 over the past 19 seasons in the NCAA tournament and NIT combined.
In 2010, the Cougars snapped a streak of nine consecutive NCAA tournament losses with a thrilling overtime win against Florida. The following season, BYU advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time in 30 years with wins over Wofford and Gonzaga.
Last season, the Cougars staged the biggest comeback in NCAA tournament history, rallying from a 25-point deficit to shock Iona in the First Four in Dayton, Ohio.
Then came Tuesday's win over Washington. It marked BYU's first NIT victory since a home win over UC Irvine in 2002.
HAWS AND DAVIES: Going into Tuesday's game, the Cougars hadn't played in 11 days, when BYU fell to San Diego in the West Coast Conference tournament.
Haws, who was dealing with an illness at that time, finally started to look like himself last Wednesday, Rose said.
"In Saturday's scrimmage we probably wore him out," Rose said. "We didn't have a lot of guys, so we were playing six-on-six. We played a full scrimmage, a full game. Those guys played a lot of minutes and he took a lot of shots. They all responded well."
The Cougars looked fresh and rested, scoring 90 points — their highest offensive production since scoring 96 against Santa Clara on Feb. 2.
Rose said his team worked hard last week with competitive, energetic practices.
"That's a good result for the effort they gave us in practice," Rose said after Tuesday's win.
Haws drilled 15-of-24 shots from the floor.
"Tyler was outstanding from the start. He was so consistent," Rose said. "What really helped him was the opportunities in transition. Our point guards did a great job of finding him in transition. There were a lot of games this year where we're running in half court and he's just getting pounded. We were able to find him in transition. It's interesting that a guy got 37 points and the way he scored for us — 37's a lot — but you just expect him to carry a big load offensively."
Davies, meanwhile, was aggressive as well — diving on the floor for loose balls and recording a rim-rattling dunk after a nifty move late in the game. He finished with nine rebounds and two blocked shots.
"There's something special about seniors and postseason and the efforts that they give you," Rose said. "I'm happy not only that (Davies) played well, but that he was able to win."
TOP CROWD: Attendance at Tuesday's game in the Marriott Center was 7,511 — the largest crowd of any NIT games played that night.
"It was just a great atmosphere," Rose said. "The crowd was very vocal."
The next highest attended game Tuesday was at Virginia (4,790). As for the other games, Maryland drew 4,053, followed by Robert Morris (3,444), Saint Joseph's (3,148) and Florida State (2,989).
NOTES: Haws has scored 706 points this season, making him the fifth Cougar to score at least 700 points in a single season Davies has scored 1,629 career points, good for 11th all-time in BYU history. He also has 812 career rebounds, which is eighth all-time at BYU ... Freshman Cory Calvert came into the game early Tuesday and hit BYU's first 3-pointer. He finished with five points, four rebounds and three assists.
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