SAN RAFAEL, Calif. – BYU-Hawaii men's basketball fell 83-65 to Dominican Saturday night at the Conlan Center.
Ryo Tawatari was one of four Penguins (3-5, 2-0 PacWest) in double figures with 16 points and six assists. Seth Turner came off the bench to score 12 points and grab seven rebounds. Quentin Mendoza had 12 points coming from four 3-pointers.
Dominican shot an impressive 55.4 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from behind the arc. They held BYU-Hawaii to 35.8 percent from the field, and 36.4 percent from the 3-point line. The Seasiders controlled the ball well with only 12 turnovers, while on the defense forcing 22 turnovers and finishing with 12 steals. The Penguins outscored BYU-Hawaii in the paint by 18 (38-20) in the victory.
The Seasiders struggled to put the ball in the basketball in the beginning of the game scoring only four points in the first five minutes to fall behind 8-4. Roney and Bailey Kikuchi tied the game at 10 with with back-to-back 3-pointers. Tawatari responded for the Penguins with five straight points to help build a 21-15 lead, but Watson answered at the other end with a shot behind the arc to cut the lead to three with 10 minutes left in the half .
BYU-Hawaii continued to battle and Denhym Brooke threw down an emphatic dunk to make it 24-23 in favor of Dominican with 8:06 left to play. The Penguins responded with a 7-2 run to build a six-point lead with just over five minutes left in the half. A 3-pointer by Jeremiah Gray and a layup by Tawatari in the final minute extended the lead to 10 at 41-31 for Dominican going into the break. The Penguins shot an impressive 65.4 percent from the field in the half, compared to 36.1 percent for the Seasiders.
Mendoza connected on a 3-pointer out of the break for Dominican and Tawatari laid it in to extend the lead to 46-31 in the first two minutes. Marquez Jackson provided strong offensive rebounding to score four points and Gabriel Andraded hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 56-44 with 12 minutes left in the game.
Xavier William gave the Penguins their biggest lead of the game at 62-46 with a 3-pointer with 9:26 left on the clock. The lead was short-lived as the Seasiders answered with a layup by D McCleary and a 3-pointer from Kikuchi to cut the deficit to 11. Turner responded with four points in an 8-1 Dominican run to take a 72-54 lead with just under six minutes remaining in the game.
Watson hit another three and Nelson added a jump shot to bring BYU-Hawaii within 12 with four minutes left in the game, but Mendoza then hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game to spark another run for the Penguins as they jumped out to 79-60 lead.
BYU-Hawaii returns home to take on Hawaii Pacific at 7:30 p.m. HST Saturday at the Cannon Activities Center. Live stats and video will be available online.