Cougars grab 8th straight win heading into WCC play

BYU vs. Texas Southern, Provo, Ut., Dec. 23, 2017 | Photo by BYU Photo

PROVO – BYU beat Texas Southern 73-52 behind balanced team play Saturday night at the Marriott Center to close out the non-conference portion of its schedule. The Cougars have now won eight straight games.

“I saw a lot of growth in our team that was a little mentally and physically tired from this week,” Dave Rose said. “What usually comes easily for us didn’t come easily tonight, but our guys still hung in there. They played together and we had help from our bench. We did a lot of things tonight that can really pay off down the road when you are competing for a conference championship.”

Yoeli Childs added a game-high 19 points and eight rebounds. TJ Haws collected 11 points and Elijah Bryant dished out a game-high five assists. Zac Seljaas had nine points and Payton Dastrup added six boards in the win.

Yeoli Childs dunks, BYU vs. Texas Southern, Provo, Ut., Dec. 23, 2017 | Photo by BYU Photo

Luke Worthington scored four of the first seven points for BYU (11-2) as the Cougars took a 7-5 advantage just over four minutes into the game.

A Seljaas 3-pointer and Haws jumper extended the lead to eight, 19-11, against Texas Southern (0-13). The Tigers countered, however, with an 8-0 run to even the score at 19-all.

Texas Southern began to work the glass, helping the Tigers take a 28-24 lead with two minutes left in the half.

A trey and jumper from Jahshire Hardnett then pushed BYU on a 7-0 scoring run before halftime, as the Cougars led 31-28.

Haws and Bryant drove to the rim to collect a pair of buckets after the break, putting BYU up 38-33.

A turn-around Seljaas jumper extended the Cougar lead to double digits at 45-35, prompting a timeout from the Tigers with 12:25 remaining.

Childs then completed a three-point play to make it 60-46, giving BYU its first double-digit scorer of the night.

Childs continued to post up shots in the paint, scoring back-to-back-to-back buckets to make it 73-51 before the Cougars eventually took the game moments later 73-52.

“For us, we have to learn to win on nights where we aren’t shooting the ball as well as we had hoped,” Haws said. “I thought we had a great game plan coming into this game defensively. Give Texas Southern credit. They made tough shots.”

This concludes the preseason schedule for the Cougars, who start West Coast Conference play next week.

“We have had our ups and downs (this preseason),” Childs said. “There are games that we have won and learned from, and also games we have lost and learned from. I think that is what it is all about. We have realized that no matter what happens we need to trust what we do and stick with our plan and play for each other.”

BYU stays at the Marriott Center next, facing Portland next Thursday at 7 p.m. MST, to begin West Coast Conference play. The game will be televised nationally on BYUtv as well as BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143, the BYU Sports Network and 1160 AM/102.7 FM.

Player Notes
Yoeli Childs scored double figures for the 11th game in a row with 19 points, while adding eight boards and two steals.

TJ Haws shot 50 percent from the field, contributing 11 points, four rebounds and three assists.

Zac Seljaas scored nine points in the win. He also added four assists and three rebounds.

Elijah Bryant recorded eight points and led the team with five assists and two blocks.

Payton Dastrup hit a 3-pointer in the second half, making it the third game in a row he has scored a trey. He finished the game with seven points and six rebounds.

McKay Cannon recorded a career-high four steals and also scored five points, all of which came in the second half.

Team Notes
After shooting 38.7 percent in the first half, the Cougars improved to 42.9 percent overall to help them earn a 73-52 victory.

Collectively, BYU recorded 37 rebounds, 19 assists and eight steals.

Stats: TSU-BYU-box

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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