PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Thanks to its deadly 1-2 punch, BYU got some revenge.
Elijah Bryant scored 28 points, while Yoeli Childs poured in 26, as the Cougars avenged an earlier loss to Pacific with a 80-65 victory over the Tigers Saturday night at the Marriott Center
“Both teams competed hard tonight,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “I’m just proud of the guys for finding a way to win.”
Childs poured in 20 of his 26 points in the second half as the Cougars gained late momentum. Bryant missed just one shot (8 of 9) en route to 28 points.
“It’s just the fact that my teammates were able to find me and I was able to get the open shots,” Bryant said. “I try to focus on what I can control during the game. Whether I am making or missing, I try to move on to the next play as fast as possible even if it goes in. If it goes in or I miss, either way, I try to move on as fast as I can.”
The Cougars improved to 18-5, 7-3 (West Coast Conference) and snapped a two-game losing streak against Pacific (10-13 5-5), going back to last year.
The teams traded blows and BYU trailed 11-10 heading into the game’s first timeout four minutes in.
Pacific took over the next five minutes and led 20-12 before Payton Dastrup hit a 3-pointer and Bryant completed a 3-point play on the next possession.
Childs’ putback with six minutes left in the half tied the game at 24-24. A minute later, Childs threw down an alley-oop with one hand to put the Cougars up 26-25.
Pacific hit a 3 in the final minute and led 33-30 at halftime. Bryant had a team-best 12 points.
The Tigers got off to a strong start in the second half, but BYU clawed back and tied the score at 38-38 with a highly-contested Bryant lay-in. After another Pacific run, Bryant buried a 3 to make it 44-44 with 13:34 on the clock.
Dalton Nixon completed a 3-point play to put the Cougars up 47-44. A couple of possessions later, Childs scored to make it a 13-2 run and 52-46 lead for BYU.
Childs swished two free throws and made it a 65-59 Cougar lead with just over three minutes left to play. He threw down a dunk while being fouled the next time down the court. Once again, he was good from the line for a 68-59 lead.
After a Tiger flagrant foul, TJ Haws made both free throws for BYU’s biggest lead of the game up to that point at 70-59. The Cougars cruised from there for the 15-point win.
“I think we locked it in on the defensive end,” Childs said. “In that first half, we weren’t as good on the defensive side and weren’t able to push it in transition. But in that second half, we were able to get some stops, string a couple in a row and really just push it on the break and attack their weaknesses.”
The Cougars play next at Loyola Marymount on Thursday at 9:00 p.m.