AZUSA, Calif. - BYU-Hawaii men's basketball fell 83-82 on last second free throws to Azusa Pacific in an instant classic at the Felix Event Center on Friday night.
Scott Friel led the way for the Seasiders (12-9, PacWest 9-7) with 20 points with four other Seasiders scoring in double figures. Connor Peterson was the hero of the game for Azusa Pacific (16-6, 10-4 PacWest) with 10 points, none of which were more important than his two free throws with 0.2 seconds to win the game. The Seasiders and Cougars combined to go 27-of-49 from behind the arc in the shootout.
With 30 seconds left on the clock Justin Yamzon hit a clutch three to give BYU-Hawaii an 82-81 lead. After an Azusa timeout, Justin Park stole the ball from the Cougars with 20 seconds remaining, but missed a layup which would have ensured the victory. Peterson would grab the rebound and go coast to coast and get fouled with 0.2 seconds remaining. Peterson sunk both free throws to snap the Cougars' three game losing streak and keep the Seasiders winless at the Felix Event Center.
Friel led the attack for the Seasiders scoring nine of the Seasider's 11 points to begin the first half. Friel found success in the paint area scoring back-to-back layups and then hit a trey to extend the lead to 11-8. Both teams would trade baskets to the halfway mark after Friel hit a deep 3-pointer to beat the shot clock.
Neither team seemed to be able to pull away until the Cougars went on a 12-0 run extending the lead to 33-21. During the run Joey Schreiber hit three 3-pointers to spark the hot shooting for Azusa Pacific. Tanner Nelson ended a five minute drought without a bucket for the Seasiders with a 3-pointer from deep to stop the run.
The game really began to pick up after Bruce English came up with a huge block on Nelson. Following the block Nelson came right back at English with a deep three. On the ensuing possession Yamzon would hit a 3-pointer of his own cutting the lead down to three. Azusa Pacific responded with an 8-0 run to extend the lead back up to 11 going into halftime.
BYU-Hawaii came out of the gates more aggressive riding an 8-0 run to begin the second half. Azusa Pacific slowly worked the lead back until the Seasiders went on a 9-0 run to tie the game up at 50 with 14 minutes remaining. With 13 minutes left, Yamzon hit a deep three to give the Seasiders their first lead since the opening minutes of the first half.
Solomone Wolfgramm provided a spark off the bench getting two baskets with the foul to give the Seasiders their largest lead at 65-59 with six minutes left to go. The Cougars fought their way back playing off 3-point shooting to tie the game at 72 at the four-minute mark.
BYU-Hawaii will return home to face off against Notre Dame de Namur on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. HST in the Cannon Activities Center. Live stats and video will be available online.