PROVO — The Pacific Tigers’ bench outscored that of the BYU Cougars 45 to 3.
It wasn’t enough.
Tyler Haws had 38 points on 12-of-20 shooting and Eric Mika added 20 points and eight rebounds as the Cougars held off the Tigers 88-78 on Thursday night.
Here are grades for BYU’s guards, big men and coaches.
After getting outplayed at the Kennel a few nights ago, BYU’s guards bounced back at the Marriott Center. Led by Haws — who is now averaging 36.3 points in his last three games — the group scored 61 of the Cougars’ 88 points.
Skyler Halford knocked down three triples for 10 points, while Kyle Collinsworth collected 10 of his own.
Matt Carlino once again struggled from the field. He’s now 2 for 11 in his last two contests, and his season 3-point percentage is lower than former Salt Lake Bee Mike Trout’s batting average (.317).
But the south paw did have six assists, including a beautiful behind-the-back, no-look pass in transition to Haws. The play extended the Cougars' lead to 14 with 8:27 to play.
BYU’s bigs did two things extremely well: shoot high percentages from the field and clean the glass.
Mika, Nate Austin and Josh Sharp shot a combined 9 for 11 from the field and gathered eight, eight and seven rebounds, respectively.
Thanks to the trio, the Cougars outrebounded the Tigers 35-24.
Mika, the freshman from Lone Peak, had one of his best games this season as he dominated the low block with a plethora of put-backs, up-and-unders and drop-steps. He was a big reason BYU was able to pour in 22 second-chance points.
Dave Rose & Co. did a solid job of coaching the Cougars, but the staff still has some weaknesses to shore up.
Defensively, for example, BYU needs to get better. After allowing Portland and Gonzaga to shoot 47.4 and 57.4 percent from the field, respectively, last week, the Cougars permitted Pacific to connect on 53.2 percent of its field goal attempts, including 7 of 17 (41.2 percent) from downtown.
Also, if BYU is going to beat Saint Mary’s (which is 4-0 against the Cougars in West Coast Conference play) on Saturday night, the guards will need to shoot more efficiently. Aside from Haws, they hit just 6 of 26 from the field.
Jared Bray is a contributing writer for Deseret News. He also reports in English and Tagalog (a language he picked up while serving a two-year church mission in the Philippines) for The Filipino Channel's nightly news program "Balitang America."
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