HONOLULU – BYU-Hawaii men's basketball fell 91-79 to Hawaii Pacific at the Blaisdell Center Thursday night.
Tanner Nelson led all scorers with 31 points, shooting 50 percent from the field and hitting six 3-pointers. Gabriel Andrade added a career-high 18 points and two steals for the Seasiders (5-13, 3-9 PacWest). Denhym Brooke had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds to go with five blocks.
Hawaii Pacific (19-1, 11-1 PacWest) was led by Chauncey Orr who had 21 points and 9 rebounds. Connor Looney and Elliot Defreitas had 17 and 13, respectively.
BYU-Hawaii shot 39.4 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from behind the 3-point line, but the Sharks were able to connect on 46.4 percent of shots from the field and 38.1 percent from behind the arc. The Seasiders were outrebounded by the Sharks 51-39.
Orr hit two 3-pointers to help Hawaii Pacific jump out to a quick 13-4 lead with 15:46 left in the first half. Andrade helped BYU-Hawaii get back into the game by coming off the bench and hitting three 3-pointers to close the gap to 18-17 with 12:08 remaining in the first half.
The Seasiders and the Sharks continued to trade baskets as the Sharks led 23-19 with 8:20 on the clock. A 3-pointer by Looney extended the HPU's to 27-21 with just under seven minutes left in the first half, but Nelson answered with a 3-pointer of his own to keep the lead at three.
Andrade finished on a fancy 3-point and Nelson hit a 3-pointer to bring the Seasiders within two at 35-33. Hawaii Pacific then answered by going on a 5-0 run to take a 40-33 lead with 3:03 on the clock. Nelson hit again from behind the arc and Brooke added an emphatic dunk to keep the Seasiders in the game as they trailed 47-41 going into the locker room.
Nelson started off the second half hot as he scored the first 9 points for BYU-Hawaii, cutting the Sharks lead to 53-50 with 15:58 remaining in the game. Hawaii Pacific took charge from there with a 6-0 behind two 3-pointers from Looney, creating a 63-55 cushion with just over 12 minutes left.
Defreitas scored four points to spark an 8-0 for the Sharks to extend the lead to double digits at 71-58. The Seasiders answered with an 8-2 run coming from two more 3-pointers by Nelson to cut the HPU lead to seven with 7:53 remaining in the game, but the Sharks were able to slowly build back the double-digit lead to 82-70 with 3:43 remaining. A layup by D McCleary and a 3-point play by Brooke cut the deficit to single digits once more at 83-74 with two minutes remaining, but HPU hit their free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.
BYU-Hawaii will be back in action Thursday as they travel to Utah to take on Dixie State at 7:30 p.m. MST. Live stats and video will be available online.