ANCHORAGE. – No. 16 BYU-Hawaii men's basketball headed home undefeated after a 90-69 win over the University of Alaska Anchorage on Saturday night in the Alaska Airlines Center.
"We took care of the ball tonight," BYU-Hawaii head coach Ken Wagner said. "We didn't shoot the greatest in the world, but defensively we played really well [throughout the tournament]. I was proud that everyone that came in played hard and played well. If we continue to cut our turnovers down and be more consistent on defense, we're going to be really good."
Senior guard Daniel Berger led all scorers for the second consecutive game with 21 points on 8 of 13 shooting. Senior guard Pablo Coro added 15 points and five assists for BYU-Hawaii (8-0, 2-0 PacWest). Both players were named to the Seawolf Jamboree All-Tournament team at the conclusion of the game.
Junior forward Ian Harward finished one rebound short of a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Junior forward Scott Friel scored 13 and sophomore guard Cory Lange added 11 to round out five Seasiders in double figures.
BYU-Hawaii, the nation's best free-throw shooting team, bounced back from one of their worst performances of the season yesterday to shoot 90.9 percent from the charity stripe. The Seasiders outrebounded the Seawolves (3-7, 1-1 GNAC) by 14 and had 10 steals on their way to a 16-0 advantage in fastbreak point.
After a 3-pointer from Coro gave the Seasiders an early 5-3 lead with 18:21 remaining the first half and they would not relinquish it for the rest of the game. Berger contributed his first 3-pointer of the day during a 12-2 run by BYU-Hawaii to take a 19-7 edge over UAA with 13 minutes left in the half.
The Seasiders built a 14-point lead over the Seawolves with a 9-2 run led by five points from senior guard Luke Aston. UAA closed the gap to five at 28-23 with 6:17 after a 10-point run of their own.
The teams traded points until Lange scored four-points during an 8-2 run to send BYU-Hawaii into halftime leading 47-35.
BYU-Hawaii created its largest lead of the game following a 17-2 run that was highlighted by a one-handed slam from senior center Jordan Stone to make it 68-43 with 12:54 left.
UAA answered with a seven-point run to cut back within 20, but Berger nailed two 3-pointers and two other field goals in the paint on a personal run that extended the lead back to 23 with eight minutes remaining. The game was never in doubt as the Seasiders closed out the game with a 9-2 run to continue the best start in program history.
BYU-Hawaii returns back to conference play next week to take on rival Hawaii Hilo on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. HST in the Hilo Civic Auditorium. Live stats and audio will be available online.