BYU went on a 12-0 run in just under four minutes, led by Tyler Haws, to start its game Thursday against Pepperdine. The Cougars finished the game on a 22-12 run the final five minutes, led by Haws. During the 31 minutes in between, Pepperdine largely outplayed BYU. Those two big runs proved to be enough, however, as the Cougars pulled away for an 84-72 win, avenging their disappointing loss to the Waves 10 days ago.
Playing without injured big man Eric Mika, the guard trio of Haws, Kyle Collinsworth and Skyler Halford combined to take 83 percent of BYU’s shots from the field and score 68 of the Cougars’ 84 points. No question BYU was going to sink or swim with its backcourt Thursday night at the Marriott Center as coach Dave Rose distributed 72 percent of his 200 available minutes to his backcourt.
The bottom line is that the Cougars were less than impressive for 75 percent of the game but did enough to pull off a win they absolutely had to have. They didn’t necessarily build on the momentum generated by their blowout of San Diego, but they did enough not to lose it by playing good defense in spurts and knocking down shots in key stretches.
Nate Gagon is a published sports, music and creative writer. He is also a wholehearted father, grateful husband and ardent student of life. He shoots roughly 94% from the free-throw line and can be reached at: email@example.com or @nategagon.