OAKLAND, Calif. – Tanner Nelson led BYU-Hawaii men's basketball to a 90-80 victory over Holy Names to open conference play Saturday at Tobin Gymnasium.
"Much better job of executing our offense," BYU-Hawaii head coach Gabriel Roberts. "Tanner was able to take advantage of his ability to drive or pull-up at will. Everyone else played within themselves and let the game come to them."
Nelson led the Seasiders (3-4, 1-0 PacWest) with a game-high 24 points and seven rebounds. Denyhm Brooke added 22 points and seven rebounds, while Caeleb Roney had a career-high 16 points. Roney also had team-highs of eight rebounds and two blocks.
Dante Robinson led four Hawks (1-8, 0-2 PacWest) in double figures with 13 points to go with eight rebounds. Andre Green added 10 points and four steals.
BYU-Hawaii had their best shooting night of the year, hitting 58.9 percent from the field and holding Holy Names to 45.2 percent shooting. The Seasiders also did a good job of distributing the ball to finish with 15 assists.
Roney and Nelson got BYU-Hawaii off to a fast start scoring four points each during an 8-0 run to give the Seasiders the 16-8 lead with 14 minutes left in the half. Brooke gave BYU-Hawaii its first double digit lead of the game when he slammed the ball home two minutes later for the 20-10 lead.
Nelson hit a 3-pointer and added a jumper to extend the lead to 15 at the midway point of the half, but the Hawks fought back. Andre Green hit a jumper and Jewels Sanders added a 3-point play to cut the Seasider lead to single digits at 30-21.
This time BYU-Hawaii responded getting to the rim for three consecutive layups to retake a 15-point advantage with 5:22 on the first half clock. The Hawks aggressive play on offense got them to the free-throw line to propel a 7-point run to cut the lead to 36-28. The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the half and BYU-Hawaii took a 47-39 lead into the break.
Brooke provided the spark out of the half with four points in the first two minutes during an 8-2 run to make it 55-41 Seasiders. Nelson knocked down another shot behind the arc and Brooke slammed the ball home to give BYU-Hawaii its largest lead of the game at 60-44 with 14:32 remaining.
Green then jumpstarted the Hawks offense with a 3-pointer and added a jumper during an 11-point swing in the next two minutes to put them within striking distance at 60-55. Shad Watson scored five straight for the Seasiders to respond, giving them the 66-55 advantage.
The teams began to trade baskets over the next six minutes, but back-to-back baskets by Roney and Brooke once again gave BYU-Hawaii the 15-point lead with three minutes remaining. The Seasiders held off any Hawks runs to take the game.
BYU-Hawaii will return to the court Monday to take on Academy of Art at 7:30 p.m. PST at Kezar Pavilion. Live stats and video will be available online.