Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

College Sports

December 29, 2012

BYU Cougars claw by Hokies

SALT LAKE CITY — SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Tyler Haws scored a career-high 42 points, including six 3-pointers, and Brigham Young routed Virginia Tech 97-71 Saturday in the Cougars’ final warm-up before West Coast Conference play begins next week.

Haws had a chance to tie a school record the last time BYU played at the Utah Jazz arena in Salt Lake City after opening the season with six straight 20-point games. But the sophomore guard fell two points short in a blowout victory over Montana on Nov. 28.

On Saturday, he more than made up for that.

He had 29 points by halftime after opening 9 of 13, including 6 of 8 from beyond the arc.

By then the Cougars (10-4) were leading 56-31 against a Hokies team that has dropped its last two by a combined 62 points.

Erick Green, the nation’s leading scorer, finished with 12 points on 4 of 17 shooting for Virginia Tech (9-4).

The 6-foot-3 senior guard didn’t score until there was 14:17 left in the first half, and the Hokies by then were already down eight. He was just 2 of 9 for seven points at halftime after averaging 25.4 points a game.

From the beginning, the day belonged to Haws, who hit 3s from seemingly everywhere.

When the Hokies finally started guarding him, he went inside.

His driving layup with 3:37 remaining tied him with his dad, Marty, with 40 points — 10th in BYU single-game scoring history.

And his two free throws 25 seconds later gave him 42, tying him with Jimmer Fredette for eighth-best all-time at BYU.

He took a seat on the bench after that to a standing ovation — one night after the Jazz suffered a heart-breaking two-point loss to the streaking Los Angeles Clippers in the same arena.

Early on Haws shredded the Hokies’ zone defense.

He opened with two 3s in the first minute and drained his fourth with 14:05 left in the half.

His fifth followed a nice feed after a scrappy play by Nate Austin gave BYU a 33-17 lead midway through the half.

His three-point play with 16:33 remaining pushed the Cougars’ lead to 30. On the play, BYU big man Brandon Davies provided a nice feed underneath.

Davies also added a strong presence inside for the Cougars. He opened 3 of 3, including an alley-oop dunk off an inbounds pass, and got to the line nine times in the first half, finishing with 17 points.

He limped off late in the second half and didn’t return.

Jarell Eddie led Virginia Tech with 17 points and Robert Brown added 13.

Overall, it was a disappointing effort by the Hokies, who arrived in Utah several days early following a 36-point loss Sunday to Colorado State in a Las Vegas tourney.

The Hokies beat Oklahoma State by 10 on Dec. 1 — their first win over a ranked nonconference opponent in 17 years. And they had a quality win over Iowa a week before that.

Now they have a week to regroup before opening Atlantic Coast Conference play at Maryland.

BYU coach Dave Rose, who has been searching for the right chemistry after seeing his team lose to Florida State, Notre Dame, Iowa State and Baylor (by 15 last week), at least knows what he has in Haws.

His 29 points in a half were the most since Fredette put up 33 in a Mountain West Conference tournament game in 2011.

BYU’s 56 points were the most it has scored in the first half this season.

It was the Cougars’ defense that came up as big as Haws. In the first half, BYU held the Hokies to 30 percent shooting (10 of 33) and just 1 of 8 from 3-point range.

BYU shot 60 percent in the first half and 46.5 percent overall. The Cougars finished 7 of 19 from 3-point range — most of it Haws, who was 6 of 8 from beyond the arc.

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