RIVERSIDE, Calif. - No. 8/13 BYU-Hawaii men's basketball was unable to find its groove against No. 22/23 California Baptist University's defense in an 84-71 loss on Monday night in the Van Dyne Gymnasium.
Daniel Berger led the Seasiders (18-5, 12-5 PacWest) with 18 points to go with seven rebounds. Scott Friel had a great, all-around game with 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Ian Harward was just short of his second-consecutive double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.
BYU-Hawaii shot 34.3 percent from the field and 71 percent from the charity line. The Seasiders had 16 offensive rebounds to Cal Baptist's (20-4, 14-3 PacWest) 14, but were outrebounded by the Lancers by four. BYU-Hawaii's night also consisted of 20 second chance points, six fast break points and two blocks.
After starting the game with a layup by Pablo Coro, the Seasiders struggled to make it past the Lancers' defense to the hoop. Cal Baptist shot consecutive 3-pointers to take the lead, but BYU-Hawaii answered with four points to cut the Lancer lead to 8-7 with 13:53 in the first half.
Cal Baptist went on a 10-point run that was followed by a jump shot by Tyler Tuliau and a 3-pointer by Justin Yamzon to bring the score to 18-12 with 10:38 on the clock. A small 6-1 run by the Seasiders with four points from Luke Aston closed the gap to three points with 7:58 remaining in the half.
The game became physical with Cal Baptist getting 12 fouls and BYU-Hawaii getting 11 in the first half. Both teams played strong defense, making it hard to score and sending the Seasiders into the locker room down 41-30.
The second half started with seesaw scoring, but the Lancers were able to keep their lead in double digits. The largest gap of the game came at 13:59 after a 3-pointer by Ryan Berg made it 62-43. A six-point run by BYU-Hawaii closed the gap to 13 points with 10:40 on the clock.
A 9-0 run by the Seasiders brought them back within single digits with 6:09 left in the 64-58 game. Five more Seasider points put them just three points behind the Lancers with 3:49 to go, but it was as close as they would get.
The Lancer's answered with a 7-2 run to widen their lead to 73-65 with 2:03 left in the game. The teams traded free throws for the rest of the game until Cal Baptist ended it with a layup.
BYU-Hawaii will look to find its winning ways again at home against Hawaii Hilo on Friday at 7:30 p.m. HST. The game will be on BYUtv and live stats and audio will be available online.