FRESNO, Calif. – Sophomore point guard Justin Yamzon helped No. 19/21 BYU-Hawaii men's basketball to overcome a back-and-forth battle with Fresno Pacific in an 82-73 win on Thursday night in the Special Events Center.
Yamzon hit five shots behind the arc to set a new career-high of 17 points. Senior guard Pablo Coro recorded his seventh-consecutive game in double-figure scoring with 13 points and five assists. Senior guard Daniel Berger had a great all-around game with 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Senior forward Tyler Tuliau contributed 12 points and junior forward Ian Harward ended with 10 points.
BYU-Hawaii (14-2, 8-2 PacWest) outrebounded Fresno Pacific (5-11, 1-8 PacWest) by 11 and outscored them by 18 in the paint. The Seasider bench contributed 44 points, while the Sunbirds' bench was scoreless.
After 16 lead changes, Yamzon drained his fifth 3-pointer of the game with 3:17 left in the game to give the Seasiders back the lead. Coro then put in a shot behind the arc and a layup to force the Sunbirds to foul and BYU-Hawaii hit their free-throws to end the game on a 12-2 run.
Early in the first half, the Sunbirds took an early lead until Tuliau's jumper tied it 13-13 with 9:29 on the clock. The Sunbirds took the lead again, but Harward laid it in with 6:13 to tie the game again at 18-18.
After more seesaw scoring, a dunk by Berger and a Coro 3-pointer put the Seasider in control at 25-23 with 3:53 left in the half.
Tuliau powered an 8-3 run to give BYU-Hawaii the largest lead of the first half for either team at 33-26 with 1:11 on the clock. A buzzer beating putback by Cory Lange sent the Seasiders into halftime ahead 35-30.
Another dunk from Berger with 18:27 left in the game kept Fresno Pacific at bay with BYU-Hawaii clinging to a 37-32 lead. After four points by the Sunbirds, Coro answered with a 3-point jumper to keep BYU-Hawaii alive at 44-38 with 16:21 on the clock.
More back and forth scoring ensued and Fresno Pacific took the lead, but Yamzon answered for the Seasiders with another 3-pointer to retake a 49-48 lead with 13:31 on the clock. Two points by Fresno Pacific put them ahead again until Luke Aston nailed a shot from behind the arc to make the game 52-50 in favor of BYU-Hawaii with 12:23 left.
A third dunk by Berger put the Seasiders up once again and sparked a 9-3 run to make it 70-66 with 6:01 on the clock.
The Seasiders will finish their road trip at the Academy of Art on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. PST. Live stats and audio will be available online.