PROVO, Utah – BYU-Hawaii men's basketball was unable to maintain a strong start and fell 110-63 to BYU in the its last exhibition game Wednesday night at the Marriott Center
"I thought we started off really well, we stayed within ourselves and didn't try to do too much," BYU-Hawaii head coach Gabe Roberts said. "We did a decent job defensively on their shooters in the first half, but we let things get away from us in the second half when we started to get a little tired and they had guys go off."
Tanner Nelson led the Seasiders with 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes. Shad Watson came off the bench and added 12 points coming on four 3-pointers. Kyle Davis led BYU with 16 points, going a perfect 7 of 7 from the field.
The 63 points were a new high for BYU-Hawaii in its series with BYU. The Seasiders held the Cougars to 30 percent shooting from behind the arc, but BYU was able to use strong post play to outrebound BYU-Hawaii 67-31.
Caeleb Roney led the charge for the Seasiders early with the first five points of the game to keep things close at 14-9 after a layup by Denhym Brooke. Brooke then continued the momentum with a dunk through contact and added the free throw to spark a 5-point run to cut the deficit to 16-14.
Things remained close as Watson hit the first 3-pointer of the night for BYU-Hawaii and Brooke came free off a pick for another slam dunk to make it 25-23. BYU freshman Yoeli Childs answered with a couple of highlight-reel dunks of his own to power a 10- run for the Cougars to open up a 12-point lead with seven minutes remaining.
The Seasiders tried to make a run late in the first half behind multiple jump shots by Nelson and D McCleary. However, an impressive performance by the BYU's Eric Mika pushed the lead to 53-35 at the break.
McCleary hit a quick three off an assist from Tanner Nelson to start off the scoring for BYU-Hawaii in the second half, but the Seasiders struggled to keep pace with the Cougars as they pushed the lead to 20 four minutes into the second. BYU destroyed any hopes of a comeback for BYU-Hawaii when they went on a 22-0 run and pushed its lead to as high as 52 with two minutes left in the game.
The Seasiders never quit and Watson caught fire late in the second half to hit three-consecutive shots behind the arc for BYU-Hawaii.
The Seasiders will open up the regular season Monday at 7:30 p.m. HST against Alaska Fairbanks in the Cannon Activities Center. Live stats and video will be available online.