IRVINE, Calif. – Junior forward Scott Friel scored a career-high 31 points to lead No. 23 BYU-Hawaii men's basketball in a dominating 98-75 victory over rival Dixie State on Friday at Concordia University Arena.
"I just loved the way our guys played," BYU-Hawaii head coach Ken Wagner said. "Scott and Ian [Harward] played well both nights. I always tell Scott he's our MVP because he's just a tough, hard-nosed player. As a coach you're happy because this was a player's win. I was excited by everyone's effort."
Friel was phenomenal on both ends of the floor shooting 13-for-18 from the field and 2-for-3 from distance, while adding six rebounds and three steals. Harward came off the bench for another solid night of 14 points, four blocks and seven rebounds. Sophomore guards Justin Yamzon and Cory Lange finished with 11 and 10 points respectively. Senior center Jordan Stone rounded out the Seasiders (23-5, 15-5 PacWest) in double-figure scoring with 12 points on the night.
BYU-Hawaii shot 55.1 percent from the field and 45.8 percent from behind the arc. The Seasiders also outrebounded the Red Storm (20-7, 17-3 PacWest) 43-23 and finished with six more assists. BYU-Hawaii's bench came through in a big way outscoring Dixie's bench 45-19.
After the Red Storm built a five point lead early, Friel found his groove scoring eight during an 11-2 run, which gave the Seasiders the lead for good at 20-16 with 11:35 remaining in the first half. Yamzon followed a layup and tip-in from Harward with a 3-pointer during a 7-0 burst to extend the lead to nine with 9:08 remaining.
The teams continued to trade baskets, but several small runs helped BYU-Hawaii take a 50-37 lead into the break.
The Seasiders pushed the lead to 17 with a 6-2 run to open the second half led by four points from Stone, but the Red Storm battled back. Mark Ogden, Jr. and Mason Sawyer combined for an eight-point Dixie State run to cut the lead back to single digits at nine with 14:26 left in the game.
Daniel Berger sparked a 7-0 run to extend BYU-Hawaii's lead to 65-49 with 12:32 remaining. Luke Aston started to heat up for the Seasiders in the second half hitting two 3-pointers in the next two minutes to help BYU-Hawaii push the lead to 21 points with 8:17 remaining.
Friel then hit a desperation 3-pointer from 30-feet out and Stone added a one-handed, put-back slam to cap off a 14-point run, which extended the lead to 89-61 with six minutes left on the clock. The Red Storm tried to hurry their offense and rally, but it was the Seasiders that took advantage of the pace to build the lead to a game-high 31 points after five-consecutive points by Lange.
BYU-Hawaii will take on Cal Baptist Saturday at 4:15 p.m. PST in the PacWest Championship game at CU Arena. Live stats, video and audio will be available online.