PROVO — The West Coast Conference’s leading scorer was at it again Thursday night.
Exactly one week after lighting up Portland for a career-high 48 points, BYU guard Tyler Haws poured in 38 against Pacific — his career high at the Marriott Center — in the Cougars’ 88-78 victory.
“Every player goes through offensive confidence swings. Right now, his confidence level is really high,” coach Dave Rose said. “Our guys are doing a good job of giving him the ball in places where he can just get a good shot. That combination is really good right now.”
Haws came up big both early and late for BYU, as he hit eight of his first nine shots, including a pair of 3-pointers. He scored 21 of BYU’s first 25 points.
“You’ve got to give a lot of credit to my teammates with the way they shared the ball and found me in transition,” Haws said. “I think I got lost a few times in transition.”
In the second half when the Tigers were keeping the game close, Haws helped the Cougars pull away.
On the night, Haws knocked down 12 of 20 shots from the field, 4 of 5 from 3-point range, and 10 of 11 from the free-throw line.
In his last three games, Haws has scored 109 points.
“Right now, we’re relying on him,” Rose said. “Maybe we’re relying on him a little bit too much.”
Haws’ previous highest-scoring at home came against Washington in the National Invitation Tournament last March, when he went for 37.
His performance Thursday saw him leapfrog two former Cougar stars on the all-time scoring rankings. He surpassed Ken Roberts and Brandon Davies for No. 10 on BYU’s career scoring list with 1,686 career points.
With the win, the Cougars snapped a two-game losing skid.
BYU improved to 14-9 overall and 6-4 in West Coast Conference play. Pacific fell to 11-9 and 2-7.
Meanwhile, Eric Mika tied his career high with 20 points to go along with eight rebounds, while Kyle Collinsworth and Skyler Halford each chipped in 10.
Asked if he was looking more for his 3-point shot Thursday, Haws said, “It just kind of happened. Guys were driving into the middle and kicking out. I kind of got into a rhythm. When I find my rhythm at the 3-point line, I tend to keep shooting and I keep looking for it. It felt good.”
“That’s probably the one place where teams are saying, 'If he’s going to beat you, have him beat you out there (at the 3-point line),'” Rose said. “Right now, he’s shooting the ball really well. We’ll see how teams adjust.”
Tony Gill led the Tigers with 15 points and Andrew Bock added 13.
Over the first 10:30 of the game, Haws scored 21, then had just three the rest of the half — which came on a 3-pointer with one minute left before the halftime buzzer.
The Cougars led at the break, 45-34.
Early in the second half, BYU struggled with turnovers, including a bunch of offensive fouls, as Pacific whittled its deficit down to four, 49-45, with 17 minutes remaining after a 9-0 run.
Haws failed to score through nearly the first four minutes of the second half. But after hitting a deep two-pointer, he started to heat up again, as he scored seven in a row for BYU. As a team, the Cougars enjoyed a 12-0 run during a stretch that saw them seize a 63-47 advantage with 12 minutes left.
From there, Haws and Mika combined to put the game away. BYU led by as many as 23.
Thursday’s contest was a physical one that featured two technical fouls — a double technical against Collinsworth and Pacific's Trevin Harris. In the waning minutes, Pacific’s Gabriel Aguirre was whistled for a flagrant-two foul against Mika and was ejected.
“They’re a physical team. It’s a physical league,” Mika said. “They were kind of letting us play a little bit. We really stepped up to the challenge and met their physicality and intensity.”
BYU hosts Saint Mary’s on Saturday (9 p.m. MST, ESPN2).
NOTES: Announced attendance was 14,262. Haws has nine games in his career with at least 30 points, including six this season. BYU had 17 offensive rebounds and 22 second-chance points. Pacific’s bench outscored the Cougar bench, 45-3.
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