SAN FRANSISCO, California – BYU-Hawaii men's basketball held a lead for nearly 30 minutes, but cold shooting down the stretch resulted in a 78-68 loss to Academy of Art Monday night at Kezar Pavilion.
"Academy of Art did a good job with their pressure defense they forced us into a lot of turnovers and it disrupted our offense," BYU-Hawaii head coach Gabriel Roberts said. "On the bright side of things, I was pleased with the work Jeff [Given], Caeleb [Roney] and Tanner [Nelson] did down low. They really helped us on the boards."
Nelson led BYU-Hawaii (3-5, 1-1 PacWest) with 17 points and seven rebounds. Shad Watson was close behind with 14 points including three 3-pointers. Roney contributed 11 points and nine rebounds, while Given had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Chris Salas for Academy of Art (2-6, 1-1 PacWest) led all scorers with 30 points and eight rebounds. Kendall Brown added 13 points.
The Seasiders shot 39.3 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from beyond the arc, while the Urban Knights shot 44.1 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from the beyond the arc. The Knights forced 17 turnovers from BYU-Hawaii while committing only 12. Academy of Art held a 36-26 advantage in the paint to create seperation.
The Seasiders jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead to start the game coming off multiple layups by Denhym Brooke and Tanner Nelson. Multiple missed shots by BYU-Hawaii then allowed the Urban Knights to go on a 12-2 run and take a three-point lead with 10:47 remaining in the first half.
Watson caught fire and hit three straight 3-pointers to push the Seasiders out to a 23-16 lead three minutes later. Dante Williams responded for Academy of Art with a steal and five quick to cut the deficit to two with only 2:48 remaining in the first half.
Watson and D McCleary each hit a jump shot to give create some separation as the teams traded baskets for the remainder of the half as the Seasiders headed into the break with a 35-34 lead.
Tanner Nelson hit two 3-pointers coming out of halftime and scored the first 10 points for the Seasiders. The Knights were able to hang with BYU-Hawaii as they continued to feed Luka Radovic in the paint for six straight points to tie the game at 45-45 with just under 15 minutes left.
A breakaway steal and layup by Gabriel Andrade kicked off an 8-0 for the Seasiders to help them jump out to a 56-46 lead with just under ten minutes remaining in the game, but the shooting woes set in shortly after.
Brown hit a 3-pointer and Chris Salas had a 3-point play to end the drought for the Urban Knights as they came back and cut the deficit to only four with only 8:00 minutes remaining. Three consecutive misses by the Seasiders and another three pointer for Academy of Art pushed the Knights out to a 60-57 lead and capping a 14-1 run with 6:50 remaining in the game.
Denhym Brooke cut the deficit to one with a couple of free-throws, but the Urban Knights quickly answered by taking advantage of two Seasider turnovers to jump out to a 66-61 lead with 3:48 left in the game. BYU-Hawaii remained cold from the field as Academy of Art maintained a 70-64 lead with 2:43 left on the clock.
The Seasiders only field goal in the last three minutes of the game was a 3-pointer by Jeff Given and the Urban Knights made their free throws to secure a 78-68 victory.
The Seasiders will return to the court Thursday at 7:30 p.m. PST at Notre Dame de Namur. Live stats and video will be available online.