LAIE, Hawaii – Shad Watson led BYU-Hawaii men's basketball to an 82-71 victory over Oakland City University Tuesday night at the Cannon Activities Center.
"Shad had a great game," BYU-Hawaii head coach Gabriel Roberts said. "When he gets going, he can really shoot the ball. I really want to see our team play within the system and we will take time to work on that going into this weekend's games."
Watson shot 7 for 12 from behind the 3-point line and added a layup to finish with 23 points. Caeleb Roney added 10 for BYU-Hawaii (1-3) while Joohan Lee and Tanner Nelson each scored nine. Jeff Given grabbed nine rebounds and scored seven points.
Addison Wagler led Oakland City (0-3) with 30 points and Matt Lucas was another leader with 24. Logan Worthington grabbed 10 boards.
The Seasiders outrebounded the Oaks by seven and recorded 10 steals to OCU's seven. BYU-Hawaii had 29 assists compared to Oakland City's 12. The Seasiders shot 51.6 percent from the floor and 36.7 percent from behind the line while they held the Oaks to 46.9 and 18.2 percent, respectively.
Nelson put BYU-Hawaii on the scoreboard with a pair of free throws before Oakland City's Addison Wagler matched them with two of his own. The teams traded baskets for the next several minutes, which included powerful dunks by Denhym Brooke and Roney. Roney hit a jump shot to spark a 13-4 run for the Seasiders, Gabriel Andrade had one of the highlights finishing with an acrobatic layup off an assist from Watson to make the score 24-13 with 9:24 to go in the first half.
Tanner Nelson made a jump shot to maintain the Seasiders' lead and Watson hit consecutive 3-pointers to make it 32-20 with 6:25 to go until halftime. Joohan Lee made a layup and a shot from behind the arc in back-to-back possessions to give BYU-Hawaii its largest lead of the game. D McCleary extended that lead to 17 with a free throw to make the score 41-24 with 2:01 remaining in the half. Center Jeff Given hit 3-pointer at the buzzer to send BYU-Hawaii into the locker room 44-31.
Roney blocked a shot early in the second half to give BYU-Hawaii momentum and threw it down court to Brooke for another monstrous dunk. Addison hit a short jumper for the Oaks to put them within seven before Kikuchi drained a deep 3-pointer to extend the Seasiders' lead back to double digits with 16:14 to go. Nelson gave BYU-Hawaii the 52-39 edge on another shot behind the arc moments later.
Watson hit his fifth 3-pointer of the night to put BYU-Hawaii up by 18 with 9:55 left in the game. Kikuchi got a steal and dished it to Watson for a layup with 8:07 to go, before Roney returned the favor and threw a defensive rebound down court for Kikuchi to lay it in. Watson immediately scored back-to-back shots from beyond the arc to make the Seasiders' lead 20.
The Seasiders will return to the court Friday to open the Hoops in Hawaii Thanksgiving Classic as they take on West Coast Baptist University at 7 p.m. HST in the Cannon Activities Center. Live stats will be available online.