AZUSA, Calif. – No 8/13 BYU-Hawaii men's basketball was unable to polish of any comeback hopes in the second half falling 88-74 to No. 18/23 Azusa Pacific University on Thursday night in the Felix Event Center.
Scott Friel led the Seasiders (18-3, 12-3 PacWest) with 18 points to go with five rebounds. Pablo Coro finished with 11 points on 50 percent shooting from the field. Daniel Berger contributed nine points and four assists and Jordan Stone finished the game with seven rebounds.
BYU-Hawaii outrebounded Azusa Pacific (20-4, 13-3 PacWest) by three, but committed seven more turnovers.
After trailing for most of the first half, a 7-0 run by Azusa Pacific propelled it to a 39-34 lead with 3:27 left in the first half. The Seasiders struggled to answer back as the Cougars built a double-digit lead at 50-40 going into the break that they would not relinquish.
BYU-Hawaii started the game with five points in the first two minutes and held the lead through the seesaw scoring. The largest Seasider lead in the first half came after a 3-pointer from Cory Lange to made it 19-14 game with 11:43 on the clock.
The Cougars closed the gap, but Daniel Berger drained a 3-point jumper with 7:57 in the half to keep BYU-Hawaii up 28-23. More back and forth scoring caused three ties in less than one minute. The Cougars then used their seven-point run to take the lead for good.
Layups by Jordan Stone and Justin Yamzon put a stop to another the seven-point run by the Cougars to make it a 57-44 game in favor of Azusa Pacific with 16:15 in the game. A 9-0 run from BYU-Hawaii with five consecutive points from Yamzon brought the score to 65-54 with 11:34 on the clock.
The Cougars continued to answer with crucial baskets every time the Seasiders cut the lead to 10 to keep the lead at a comfortable distance.
BYU-Hawaii will continue their road trip at Point Loma on Satuday at 2 p.m. HST. Live stats and audio will be available online.