HONOLULU – BYU-Hawaii men's basketball held the lead for the entire game in a 75-61 victory over Hawaii Pacific University on Thursday night in the Blaisdell Center.
"I thought our defense played really hard," BYU-Hawaii head coach Ken Wagner said. "I felt a lot better about our defense than I have what we've been doing. There were times during the game that we completely shut them down."
Jordan Stone led four Seasiders (5-0, 1-0 PacWest) in double figures with 13 points. Cory Lange pitched in 12, Pablo Coro contributed 11 and Daniel Berger finished with 10. Robbie Mitchell had a fantastic all-around game with eight points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
BYU-Hawaii used their size advantage to outrebound HPU (3-2, 0-1 PacWest) by 16 to go with eight blocks. The Seasiders scored 32 points in the paint and had 28 points off the bench. BYU-Hawaii held Hawaii Pacific to 34 percent shooting from the field and 20 percent from behind the arc.
Coro drained a shot behind the arc to open the game and a dunk by Stone gave the Seasiders the 7-2 lead early. An old-fashioned 3-point play by Ian Harward and a 3-pointer from Lange sparked a 12-2 run to put the Seasiders up 24-11 with eight minutes remaining in the half.
The game turned into a physical, defensive battle for the remainder of the half. The teams traded points and a buzzer-beating layup by Scott Friel sent BYU-Hawaii into the locker room leading 32-20.
A 7-2 run by the Seasiders increased their lead to 39-26 with 16:59 in the game. A one-handed slam by Stone gave BYU-Hawaii their largest lead with 14:16 remaining in the game at 46-30.
After the Sharks cut the lead to four, Justin Yamzon's 3-point jumper highlighted a five-point run that made it a 54-45 game with 8:22 on the clock. Mitchell and Friel each contributed a steal during a 6-0 run fueled by their defense to bring the score to 67-54.
The game was a physical struggle the rest of the way with BYU-Hawaii hitting free throws down the stretch to keep the Sharks at bay.
The Seasiders return to the court on Saturday to take on Chaminade at 7:30 p.m. in the Cannon Activities Center. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and live stats will be available online.