IRVINE, Calif. – It was a historic night for Cory Lange as he led BYU-Hawaii men's basketball to a 96-78 victory over Hawaii Pacific University in the opening round of the PacWest Men's Basketball Championships on Thursday at CU Arena.
Lange scored a career-high 44 points on 82 percent (14-17) shooting from the field and 100 percent (7-7) from the 3-point line. He also added four rebounds and four assists for BYU-Hawaii (15-11, 11-9 PacWest).
Lange set marks for the most points, highest 3-point shooting percentage and the third highest three-point field goals made in the PacWest Basketball Championships history. He also passed Gelaun Wheelwright's 38 points for the highest in the PacWest this season. Lange also scored the second-highest points in a single game in BYU-Hawaii men's basketball history behind David Evans' 48 points against Montana State Billings in 2000.
Scott Friel recorded a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Ian Harward was one rebound short of a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds to go with four blocks. Justin Yamzon led with eight assists while scoring nine points.
Chauncey Orr led Hawaii Pacific (19-9, 14-6 PacWest) with 22 points and eight rebounds. Connor Looney added 20 points for the Sharks.
Lange ignited the Seasiders' offense early in the first half with a 3 assisted by Yamzon after a big block from Harward gave them some momentum down the court. The Sharks retaliated with a jumper from Feigler, but Lange answered with a layup, putting BYU-Hawaii up 5-2.
Back-to-back layups from Friel and another layup from Lange to push BYU-Hawaii's lead to 13-6 with 13:12 left in the first half. The teams traded baskets for the next several minutes until Lange hit two 3-pointers to lead a 10-2 run and give the Seasiders their first double-digit advantage at 25-15 with eight minutes remaining in the half.
Hawaii Pacific fought back with an 8-0 run to come within three points of BYU-Hawaii with 3:34 remaining. The Seasiders answered back with a 17-point run powered by 15 points from Lange to head to the locker room leading 49-31.
The Seasiders and the Sharks traded baskets for the first several minutes of the second half. A dunk by Justin Park sparked a 7-2 run to give BYU-Hawaii its largest lead of the game at 64-40 with 11:26 left to go. Hawaii Pacific answered with a 7-point run to make it 73-60 with 5:48 on the clock.
With 5:35 left in the half, Lange was fouled on a made layup, pushing his point total to 38 to tie the record for the highest point total in the PacWest Conference this season. His free throw gave him his record setting 39th point.
Lange connected on two more free throws to push his point total to 41, followed by another 3-point play on a fouled layup.
The Seasiders will advance to the semifinals of the PacWest Basketball Championships on Friday at 5 p.m. PST at CU Arena. Live stats, audio and video will be available online.