PROVO – TJ Haws’ and Jahshire Hardnett’s big nights helped BYU beat San Diego 74-58 at the Marriott Center on Saturday night.
“What a good game,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “A little back and forth, both teams playing hard. I thought that San Diego’s physical presence and their ability to make it hard on us on both ends of the floor was impressive. It was a challenge. Great crowd. I’m happy we got the win and I look forward to next week.”
Haws tied his season-high 24 points, leading the Cougars in scoring and had a career-high of four steals. Hardnett scored a career-high 17 points and grabbed a career high eight rebounds.
“I’m trying to play with a lot of confidence,” said Haws, who made 10 of his 14 shot attempts. “If I miss one, I’m trying not to let that affect me. I feel like it has a little bit earlier in the season, so I’m just trying to keep shooting the ball and having confidence.”
San Diego (13-7, 4-4 WCC) won the tip and scored the first basket of the game on a jump shot. BYU (17-4, 6-2 WCC) missed three consecutive shots, but tied the game 2-2 with a pair of free-throws by Yoeli Childs with 18:09 left in the first half.
Both teams struggled shooting from the field early on and the Toreros took a 4-6 lead with 15 minutes left in the first period. The Cougars answered with baskets on back-to-back offensive possessions from Haws and Childs to give BYU an 8-6 lead.
The Cougars’ shots started to fall when Haws hit his first 3-point shot of the game and Childs scored in the post off an offensive rebound. This pushed the Cougars’ lead to 15-9 with 11:28 left in the half.
San Diego’s Olin Carter III scored seven consecutive points to help the Toreros complete a 10-4 run and even the game at 19-19 with 7:11 left in the first half.
Elijah Bryant scored five points off of two free-throws and a trey to help BYU answer with a 10-2 run to give BYU a 29-21 lead with 3:49 left in the period.
Hardnett drew an offensive foul to give the Cougars the final shot of the half with 0:10 left on the clock. Haws’ 3-point shot from the top of the arc rattled out as the buzzer sounded and sent BYU into the locker room with a 35-26 advantage.
San Diego opened up the half with seven straight points in the first few minutes to close the gap to 35-33. Haws scored the first basket for BYU with 16:15 left in the game after the Cougars missed scoring in their first five possessions.
The Toreros took advantage of BYU’s cold shooting to take a 38-37 lead. Haws answered with a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to give the Cougars the lead once again.
Luke Worthington stole the ball from the Toreros and Childs capitalized off the turnover with a bucket from beyond the arc. A jumper by Worthington and another Haws trey extended BYU’s lead to 51-43 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game.
A jumper by Carter III cut the Cougar lead to five points, but Haws drove through the lane to score a layup to push BYU’s lead back to seven with a score of 55-48 with 6:29 left in the second half.
BYU started to pull away from the Toreros in the final five minutes. Haws started a run with his fourth 3-point shot from deep. Hardnett grabbed his eighth rebound and was fouled scoring a fast break layup. His made free throw gave BYU a 67-54 lead with 3:26 left.
Hardnett closed the game off with a 3-pointer to extend BYU’s lead to 16 points and a 74-58 victory over the Toreros.
BYU next travels to play St. Mary’s on Thursday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. PST. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2 as well as broadcast on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143, the BYU Sports Network and 1160 AM/102.7 FM.
TJ Haws scored in double-digits for the fourth-straight game and tied his season high with 24 points. He also tied his career-high four steals and added three assists and one block.
It was a career night for Jahshire Hardnett as he recorded a new career highs of 17 points, eight rebounds and one block.
A 3-pointer by Childs gave him double figures for the 19th straight game. He ended the night with 14 points, six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and one steal.
Elijah Bryant contributed 13 points, six rebounds and one assist. He went 4 of 4 from the free-throw line in tonight’s contest, extending his streak to 27-straight free-throws made, tied for the eighth-longest streak of consecutive free-throws made in BYU history.
On the night, BYU shot 46.3 percent from the field, 35.0 percent from beyond the arc and 68.0 percent from the line.
Defensively, the Cougars held San Diego to 41.2 percent shooting and 16 turnovers.
Box score: USD-BYU-Box_0
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