LAIE, Hawaii – Pablo Coro helped BYU-Hawaii men's basketball overcome another tough shooting night from the free-throw line in a hard fought 83-78 win over Hawaii Pacific on Friday night in the Cannon Activities Center.
Coro led all players in his effort of 19 points and 8 assists. Cory Lange came up huge off the bench for the Seasiders (9-1, 3-1 PacWest) scoring 16 points to go with three assists and four rebounds.
As a team, BYU-Hawaii outrebounded Hawaii Pacific (8-3, 3-2 PacWest) by seven points and outscored the Sharks by 10 in the paint to secure the win. The game featured nine ties and 11 lead changes.
With the game tied 76-76 after a pair of free throws by Daniel Berger with 1:11 left in the game, back-to-back blocks by Lange and Robbie Mitchell led to four quick points for the Seasiders to create the room they needed to seal the victory from the free-throw line.
The Seasiders started the first game of the New Year with a 12-2 run that included a dunk from Jordan Stone set up by Coro. By 11:22 the Sharks had answered with an 11-3 run to cut the Seasider lead to five.
The Sharks were able to finally tie the Seasiders for the first time just minutes later and used that momentum to gain their first lead at 19-17 with nine minutes until the break.
By 2:22 the Sharks and the Seasiders once again found themselves tied with 32 points apiece, but a foul by BYU-Hawaii gave Hawaii Pacific the slight advantage. Aston hit back-to-back shots from behind the arc in the final minute to send BYU-Hawaii into the break with the 38-36 lead.
The second half began with a lead change after a quick 3-pointer for the Sharks found its way through the hoop. The second half featured three ties within the first four minutes, but the Sharks were able to pull ahead 53-49 at the 12:19 mark.
BYU-Hawaii responded with an 11-0 run that included back-to-back baskets from Cory Lange and a jumper from Coro to make it 62-57 game. An electrical failure caused half the lights in the CAC to fail seconds after Coro's make as the teams waited for the lights to come back up to finish the game.
The Seasiders maintained the lead for several minutes until the Sharks' John Horowitz hit bookend 3-pointers during a 10-0 run to give them the 76-74 lead with 1:30 left in the game. BYU-Hawaii's defense led the 7-0 run to put the game out of HPU's reach.
BYU-Hawaii returns to the court on Tuesday at 7:30 pm HST against Fresno Pacific in the CAC. The game will be broadcast live and live stats will be available online.