Men's Basketball

Seasiders cage Sea Lions with defense

Seasiders cage Sea Lions with defense

IRVINE, Calif. - BYU-Hawaii men's basketball avenged a loss to Point Loma Nazarene University winning its first game of the PacWest Championship 74-49 in the Concordia University Arena on Thursday night.

"I was really pleased with our men tonight," BYU-Hawaii head coach Ken Wagner said. "They came out and played really well on defense. We have a lot of respect for Point Loma. They execute their offense better than almost anyone else in the league and they have several good shooters. We broke down defensively early a few times, but I was real proud the way we kept after them.

Pablo Coro led all scorers with 16 points and added three steals. Luke Aston was just shy of a double-double with 12 points and eight rebounds. Jordan Stone ended the night with eight points, six rebounds and four blocks, while Ian Harward added eight points, six rebounds and two blocks.

BYU-Hawaii (22-5, 15-5 PacWest) shot a tournament-record 55.3 percent from the field and 52.6 percent from behind the arc, holding Point Loma (21-8, 13-7 PacWest) to 35.8 percent of field goals and 25 percent of 3-pointers. The Seasiders outrebounded the Sea Lions 38-25 and had eight blocks to their one. BYU-Hawaii had 19 points off turnovers and 42 bench points on the night.

After Point Loma took the lead in the first minutes of the game, Danny Berger threw down an alley-oop dunk off an inbound from Robbie Mitchell to close the gap to 5-4 with 16:42 in the half. Six-consecutive Seasider points put them up 10-7 with 12:52 on the clock.

Justin Yamzon, Cory Lange and Luke Aston then connected on three consecutive 3-pointers in a two minute span to widen BYU-Hawaii's lead to 19-12. After Scott Friel's layup bounced off the rim, Stone tipped the ball in with his right hand to make it a 32-23 game with 3:44 left in the first half.

The Seasiders and Sea Lions traded buckets the rest of the half and BYU-Hawaii entered the locker room with a 37-28 lead.

Four points from Coro and another tip-in from Stone opened up the second-half scoring for the Seasiders and extended the lead to double-digits at 43-31 with 15:55 remaining. Aston scored five points and Lange added another make from behind the arc during a 14-2 Seasider run that gave them a 26 point lead at 64-38 with 4:57 remaining.

BYU-Hawaii then held the ball for most of the shot clock to give its starters a rest heading into the second day of the tournament.

The Seasiders will play their rivals and No. 1 seed Dixie State on Friday at 6:15 p.m. PST. Live stats, video and audio will be available online.

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