BYUH in final 16


POSTED: Sunday, March 15, 2009

One more win, and the Brigham Young-Hawaii Seasiders will have gone where they've never gone before.
























        NEXT UP

        vs. Cal Poly Pomona, Tuesday or Wednesday




The NCAA Division II West subregional hosts advanced to the Sweet 16 with an 84-71 victory over Cal State Dominguez Hills last night at the Cannon Activities Center in Laie.

A raucous crowd of 2,650 saw the third-ranked and top-seeded Seasiders win their 24th straight game and advance to their second West regional final in as many years by going toe-to-toe with as physical an opponent as they've faced all year.

BYUH (27-1) takes on Cal Poly Pomona, one of the California Collegiate Athletic Association regular season co-champions, in Laie on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The manic Pacific West Conference champions showed grit when they were challenged late in the second half by the Toros (22-8), another CCAA regular-season co-champ.

The school's farthest postseason push came in 1992, when it went to the NAIA final four. Last year, BYUH lost to Alaska-Anchorage in the D-II Sweet 16.

The Seasiders are back with a vengeance.

“;Now we just have to take care of business and play as a team,”; said forward Lucas Alves, who had a game-high 27 points and nine rebounds.

BYUH went on a 12-3 run to end the game after the Toros rallied from a double-digit deficit to make things interesting late in the second half.

CSUDH's Michael Hernandez hit a baseline jumper to cap a 10-3 run to tie the game at 59, but Trenson Akana came back with a big 3-pointer after some excellent ball movement. BYUH would lead the rest of the way.

“;I thought so too (that was a momentum-changer),”; BYUH coach Ken Wagner said. “;We're in the huddle, we just said 'Hey, we need to run our motion. Keep it spread, but we need to be unselfish.' I thought they executed it perfectly.”;

At the other end, the Seasiders picked up their intensity a notch.

“;Everyone came together and played defense,”; Alves said. “;Fortunately, we came out victorious.”;

Alves hit three of five 3-pointers and Tsung-Hsien Chang added 19 points on a series of slashing drives. BYUH's depth was on full display again, as forward Marques Whippy came off the bench to dish eight assists on a series of sweet looks.

“;I just try to help the team and do a good job on defense,”; said Chang, a freshman. “;We aren't stopping, and we want to keep scoring.”;

Dominguez Hills (22-8) looked to pressure the Seasiders fullcourt and make the small and power forward positions beat them, with mixed results. It held the hosts to 42.9 percent shooting from halftime and 46.8 for the game, but sometimes the pressure only succeeded in allowing BYUH players to spring free for great looks from harangued teammates.

The visitors crashed the boards relentlessly for a 38-33 rebounding advantage against the nation's No. 1 team in rebounding margin. Jerrell Smith led four Toros in double figures with 16 points and four blocks.

“;I thought we ran into a good team that was well coached that wouldn't be denied,”; said CSUDH coach Damaine Powell, who was surprised at Alves' accuracy from deep. “;Our goal was to stop them in transition. ... Alves hit shots, Chang made a few plays, and that was the difference in the game tonight.”;

Dominguez Hills jumped out to an 11-4 lead, but the 'Siders surged back with a 12-5 run and the teams stayed close until BYUH pushed ahead with a 13-2 spurt for a 42-33 halftime lead.

Alves matched his total of the previous game by halftime with 17 points on 5-for-8 shooting, including two 3-pointers.


BYUH 84, Cal State Dominguez Hills 71






































































































































Toros (22-8)



Seasiders (27-1)

Key—fg-a: field goals made-attempted; ft-a: free throws made-attempted; rb: rebounds; pf: personal fould; pts: total points; a: assists; to: turnovers; min: minutes played.
Halftime—BYU-Hawaii 42, Cal State Dominguez Hills 33.
3-point goals—CSUDHM 6-20 (Toliver 3-9, Tinsley 1-2, Cawthorne 1-2, McGrath 1-3, Yearby 0-1, Willhite 0-1, Walton 0-2), BYUH 8-19 (Alves 3-5, Akana 2-4, Buensuceso 2-5, Chang 1-4, Whippy 0-1).
Steals—CSUDHM 7 (Hernandez 2, Walton, Smith, Tinsley, McGrath, Ward), BYUH 12 (Buensuceso 3, Whippy 3, Sims 2, Odjegba 2, Akana, Alves). Blocked Shots—CSUDHM 4 (Smith 4), BYUH 2 (Alves, Odjegba). Officials—Greg Nixon, Ernest Kelly, David White. Attendance—2,650 .