Hot Second Half Propels BYU over Pacific


Mar 20, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Brigham Young Cougars guard Frank Bartley IV (24) drives to the basket, guarded by Oregon Ducks forward Mike Moser (0) during the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a sluggish start to the game, BYU pushed the tempo in the second half to run away from Pacific by a score of 84-59 on Saturday night at the Marriott Center.  Initially, Pacific was able to slow down the game in the half court, and BYU had trouble defending the Tigers’ big men.  But after Pacific took a brief 50-49 lead in the second half, the Cougars got boosts of energy from Josh Sharp and Frank Bartley, who combined for five blocks, and the shooting of Skyler Halford took over from there, as the game was never close in the final five minutes.

Tyler Haws had another decent but not spectacular game (by his standards), scoring 20 points on 7/16 shooting.  Kyle Collinsworth had a chance at 6th triple double but a couple players missed jump shots from his passes, so KC had to settle for 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists.  Skyler Halford is starting to look like the 6th man of the year in the WCC, with another impressive performance of 18 points on 6/10 shooting to go with 4 assists and just one turnover.  Chase Fischer also shot the outside shot well, finishing with 16 points on 4/7 from beyond the arc.  Sharp finished with 3 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 incredible blocks, while Bartley contributed 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocks.  Corbin Kaufusi had a couple of impressive jump hooks en route to a six point effort.

Pacific was lead by Gabe Aguirre with 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists, but could’ve scored more if he’d fared better than 2/7 at the free throw line.  Dulani Robinson came out hot in the first half but couldn’t get anything going in the second half, finishing with 12 points on 5/14 shooting.  David Taylor and Eric Thompson each added 11 points.  When TJ Wallace picked up his 4th foul early in the second half, Pacific couldn’t sustain their high level of play, and Wallace never got going as a result of foul trouble.

While the first 30 minutes were fairly concerning for BYU after their impressive performance against Saint Mary’s, they should be pleased with the way they closed out this game, giving Pacific no glimmer of hope towards the end of the game.  The Cougars will take on San Diego, where the BYU fans (barring an NIT home game) will get their last chance to see Tyler Haws play in Provo.  I expect nothing less than a sellout at the Marriott Center.  Pacific should still have some positive takeaways from this game, and they will take on Gonzaga and Portland at home next week.