LAIE, Hawaii – Sophomore guard Cory Lange provided the consistency BYU-Hawaii men's basketball needed to overcome Washburn University 90-80 in a close battle on Friday night in the Cannon Activities Center.
"It was a tough game. They came out and played hard," BYU-Hawaii head coach Ken Wagner said. "It looked like we were gonna run away with it and we didn't. They just kept hanging in there and made it really tough. I was proud our guys came back and hit some big shots at the end."
Although Lange was not the leading scorer, his 16 points came at critical moments in the game that kept Washburn (3-5, 0-0 MIAA) from taking a lead. Senior guard Pablo Coro led all scorers with 23 points, while junior forward Scott Friel added a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds. Senior guard Daniel Berger chipped in 14, including another highlight dunk.
The Seasiders (4-0, 0-0 PacWest) went 13 for 26 from behind the arc and held a 42-27 advantage on the glass. BYU-Hawaii also shot 95.5 percent from the charity stripe to seal the game.
A 3-pointer by Coro in the opening seconds of the game ignited a 13-3 run that gave the Seasiders the advantage over the Ichabods for the remainder of the game. Washburn closed the gap to six points with 13 minutes left in the half, but Friel made a jump shot and followed up with a tip-in to give BYU-Hawaii another double digit lead.
A seven-point run led by another Friel jumper and a 3-pointer from Lange brought the score to 27-15 with 9:03 on the clock. The Ichabods had a run of their own, but Lange stopped them in their tracks with a 3-point jumper that made the score 32-22 with 4:47 left in the first half.
The Seasiders went into halftime ahead 40-28 after an eight point run comprised of 3-pointers by Lange and Berger and a layup by Ian Harward.
Coro threw the ball to Berger for an alley-oop slam early in the second half, putting BYU-Hawaii up 44-32 with 17:16 left. Consecutive dunks by Jordan Stone brought the score to 48-34 with 16:06 on the clock.
The Ichabods closed the gap to one with 12 minutes remaining after a 9-0 run, but the Seasiders answered with a 7-1 run to widen the lead back to seven. Coro made a 3-pointer with 9:26 left in the game to give the Seasiders a 63-55 lead. Both teams traded points, but an 8-3 run helped BYU-Hawaii hold the lead at 80-72 with 2:24 left. Coro hit 7 of 8 free-throws in the closing minutes to seal the victory.
BYU-Hawaii heads to Hawaii Pacific University to play on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. HST in the Blaisdell Center. Live stats and audio will be available online.
Notes: The Seasiders honored Elder David Bailey, a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in his final men's basketball home game at BYU-Hawaii. Elder Bailey, or D-Bob, hit a 3-pointer for the second consecutive years to bring the crowd to its feet. He has helped several teams in the athletics department as a team manager.