BYU 85, Oral Roberts 65
PROVO — If there’s one thing BYU can count on so far this season, it’s forward Yoeli Childs producing double-doubles.
He’s recorded double-doubles in all four games this season, including his 24-point, 14-rebound effort Thursday night in the Cougars’ 85-65 rout of Oral Roberts in front of a crowd of 10,179 at the Marriott Center.
Just as impressively, Childs attained a major milestone in the win, eclipsing the 1,000-point plateau for his career. Childs became the 51st player in school history to score at least 1,000 points.
“You’ve got to be a special talent to score 1,000 points at your school,” said coach Dave Rose. “That’s a good club to be in.”
What does that achievement mean to Childs?
“It means coaches run a lot of stuff for me and the players pass me the ball a lot. You get 1,000 points — that’s a lot of shots,” he said. “I appreciate my guys. I think every individual accomplishment is really a team accomplishment. You can’t do it without your guys making plays for you. Most of my buckets are off of assists from guys. I’m grateful for that and for the system and the trust the coaches have in me.”
Rose appreciates Childs’ consistency when it comes to compiling double-doubles.
“I don’t think you can expect it and I don’t think that you overlook it. I’ve coached enough games to know that’s a pretty special performance,” he said. “Double-doubles, there’s more and more around the country because teams are playing faster and there are more possessions. He has a real knack for getting his body in the right spot to rebound and then his scoring is just gotten better and better.”
Childs entered the game having missed all seven 3-point attempts this season. He broke out of that slump by knocking down 2 of 4 Thursday.
“I’ve shot enough 3s this summer. I put the work in. I feel like I have a shooter’s mentality,” Childs said. “I couldn’t tell you what I’m shooting for the year and I couldn’t tell you what I shot tonight. It’s something where every time I shoot the ball, I feel like it’s going in. That comes from the confidence my teammates put in me.”
“He hit quite a few 3s in our exhibition games but this is the first one he hit this season and he hit two of them,” Rose said. “Hopefully, that draws people closer to him and they tighten that space and then we come a lot quicker with his ability to get past people on the dribble.”
And Childs had considerable help against the Golden Eagles. Jahshire Hardnett scored 16 points and the Cougars got 26 points from their bench, including 10 from Connor Harding and seven from Rylan Bergersen, which tied his career-high. Gavin Baxter chipped in four points and three rebounds.
BYU found itself in a dogfight with ORU in the first half. The Golden Eagles led 20-19 with about nine minutes remaining in the half.
But the Cougars started to break open a close game by going on a 12-1 run, highlighted by seven points from Harding on a 3-pointer, a layup and a steal and another layup.
BYU ended the half on a 17-6 spurt and led at intermission, 43-31. Bergersen scored the Cougars’ final five points of the half, including a 3-pointer, all within the final minute.
“I thought Connor came in and gave us a great lift. I thought Gavin helped us early. He was sick yesterday and missed practice and I didn’t know how many minutes I’d be able to play him tonight,” Rose said. “But he did well with the minutes that he had. Then Rylan really gave us a spark at the end of that first half. That was good to see to have those guys contribute and get some confidence.”
Bergersen is always eager to produce when needed.
“I’m excited to get into the game. I’m waiting the whole game for my number to be called,” he said. “It’s just excitement when I get in there and try to make defensive plays first and do offense second and do all I can to help.”5 comments on this story
Childs liked the way the reserves produced Thursday.
“It was awesome. I’m so happy for those guys. This is probably the deepest team that I’ve played on. It’s crazy,” Childs said. “We’d play in the summer and we’d play pickup and we’d do two captains and pick the teams and you’d have no idea who you’re taking. There’s just so many options. It’s awesome when you can bring a guy like Rylan and Connor off the bench and they can come in and play like a starter.”
BYU hosts Alabama A&M Saturday at 4 p.m.