FRESNO, Calif. – Ian Harward powered BYU-Hawaii men's basketball to an 86-76 victory over Fresno Pacific on Thursday at the FPU Events Center.
Harward recorded his fourth double-double of the year with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Scott Friel led the Seasiders (8-3, 5-1 PacWest) in scoring with 17 points and also grabbed eight rebounds. The Seasiders had a total of five players score in double figures. Madison Higgins had a game-high 22 points for the Sunbirds (8-5, 3-3 PacWest). Roger Paul also added in 20 points for Fresno Pacific.
The Seasiders out rebounded the Sunbirds 50-31 and held Fresno Pacific to 38.6 percent shooting.
The game was tight for the first 24 minutes of play with eight ties and 10 lead changes. After the Sunbirds took a 50-48 lead, Justin Yamzon hit two 3-pointers and Scott Friel added five points during a game-changing 19-2 run halfway through the second half to give the Seasiders the room they needed to secure the win.
BYU-Hawaii and Fresno Pacific traded baskets to begin the first half with Cory Lange having an early highlight after he stole the ball and went coast to coast with a slam dunk in transition. At the midway mark of the first half both teams were still trading baskets as Lange hit a 3-pointer and step back jumper to give BYU-Hawaii a 22-21 lead.
Just as the Sunbirds started to get some momentum following a 5-0 run the Seasiders' Justin Park and Harward responded with a 6-point run of their own to regain the slight lead. Fresno Pacific then grabbed the momentum on a 13-1 run to give them a 39-29 lead with four minutes remaining in the first half. Two quick fouls sent Friel to the bench which sparked the change in momentum.
Tanner Nelson responded with a deep 3-Pointer to ignite a 7-point run and cut the deficit to 39-36. BYU-Hawaii continued to fight and cut Fresno Pacific's lead to a single point at 43-42 going into halftime.
Both teams continued the see-saw scoring to begin the second half until BYU-Hawaii grabbed all the momentum with their 19-2 run.
Following a timeout the Sunbirds put together a little run behind Higgins' hot shooting to cut the lead to single digits with seven minutes remaining. Despite a flurry of small runs by Fresno Pacific, the Seasiders remained in firm control of the game on their way to the victory.
The Seasiders will be back in action on Saturday against Holy Names at 7:30 p.m. PST in Oakland, California. Live stats and video will be available online.