Seasiders win
D-I tournament

Brigham Young-Hawaii became the second NCAA Division II basketball team to win a Division I tournament and the first in Hawaii to do so, beating the Western Athletic Conference's San Jose State 85-75 last night in the championship game of the Surf-N-Slam Tournament.

Shawn Opunui led all scorers with 27 points and was named Most Valuable Player of the all-tournament team.

Three San Jose State players were charged with technical fouls and Spartan coach Phil Johnson was ejected at the end of the first half.

"If I had to put a finger on (it), I would say composure is the bottom line," Opunui said.

The sophomore guard, who shared Pacific West Conference Co-Player of the Week honors this week with teammate Jake Chrisman, said Division I experience on the Seasiders roster helped prepare BYUH for a step up in competition.

"There are leaders out there on that floor," Opunui said.

Chrisman, who had 14 points and six rebounds last night, is a transfer from BYU-Provo, as is Opunui. Michael Stowell, who played at Utah State a year ago, had 11 points.

The Seasiders (9-2) have now beaten three Division I teams -- they beat Baylor 72-67 Friday night and Northern Illinois 83-76 on Saturday -- this season. Chrisman is averaging 20.6 points per game against Division I competition.

"As you can imagine, the confidence is really high," Opunui said.

San Jose State attempted a comeback in the second half, but BYUH shot 59 percent over that span and Opunui made 14-of-16 free throws in the game to hold off the Spartans.

San Jose State got 17 points from Brett Lilly, 13 from Kareem Guilbeaux and 12 from Phil Calvert.

Point guard Beau Nobmann added 17 points for BYUH. "He was very poised, totally in control of the ball," Opunui, who played the point last year, said.

Last seaosn Alaska-Fairbanks won the Top of the World Classic to become the first Division II team to win a Division I tournament.

BYUH Athletics


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