BYU was led by Elijah Bryant who had 17 points off-the-bench as the Cougars ran past the Pacific Tigers on the way to a 91-62 win to improve to 3-1 in WCC play.
Photo Courtesy of BYU Photo.
PROVO – BYU (12-5, 3-1 WCC) returned to the Marriott Center Saturday and looked right at home. Behind the combination of Elijah Bryant and Eric Mika – who each had 17 points – the Cougars routed the visiting Pacific Tigers (7-10, 1-3 WCC) 91-62.
Bryant returned to the hardwood on Thursday after missing the last 10 games and showed moments of brilliance, and frustration as he tried to be comfortable on the court.
Saturday night, he looked to be the player that fans, and coaches had long awaited.
Coming off the bench, Bryant first entered the game with 15:34 remaining in the game. His first shot from the field, a three pointer met the bottom of the net and brought a wide smile to Bryant’s face, and that was only the beginning.
In his first five minutes of playing time, Bryant netted 10 points and finished the first half with 13.
It’s been a long wait for Bryant who sat out the 2015-2016 season after transferring from Elon University following his freshman year. Bryant starred in the Colonial Athletic Association where he was named Freshman of the Year after averaging 14.2 points per game.
Bryant starred on the BYU practice squad while biding his time. Many compared his game to BYU triple-double king Kyle Collinsworth in terms of athleticism, length, and approach to the game.
While he didn’t post a triple-double, Bryant gave fans a taste of why such high expectations have been placed by those who had seen him play live.Bryant no longer looked bothered by his injured knee and added a new dynamic to bolster the Cougars game on either end of the floor.
Three other Cougars scored in double-digits with TJ Haws scoring 15 points, Yoeli Childs scoring 14 points – along with eight boards, and Nick Emery scoring 12 points.
Emery hit a three-pointer in his 26th consecutive game which put him in a tie for second-place with sharpshooter Chase Fischer for most consecutive games in program history with making a three-point shot.
Mika also had 10 boards posting his third-consecutive double-double and his ninth of the season.
The Cougars will next face a much improved San Francisco (11-6, 1-3 WCC) team who will travel to Provo to face the Cougars in the Marriott Center. San Francisco fell to Saint Mary’s 63-52 on Saturday night and is on a three-game skid with losses to Santa Clara and Gonzaga after opening WCC play with a win over San Diego.
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