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PROVO -- The BYU basketball team's second exhibition game Thursday night gave Head Coach Dave Rose the opportunity to take a look at numerous combinations of players and find out who is going to be able to step up and make an impact in the upcoming season.
Central Washington had a hard time staying with the Cougars, with only three Wildcat players having scored by halftime, and eventually falling to the home team 82-46.
Although the usual suspects in Jonathan Tavernari (15 points, seven rebounds, three steals) and Jimmer Fredette (14 points, six rebounds, five assists) led the team in scoring, the two freshmen were able to play a combined 39 minutes, combining for 25 points on 10 of 13 shooting, eight rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal.
Tyler Haws led the team with 24 minutes played, and looked quite comfortable out on the floor.
"I thought Tyler played well. He was aggressive, and he plays on attack, which I really like," Rose said. "I thought he made some really big strides."
Brandon Davies was able to get the crowd excited with a big dunk for the second game in a row, and Rose said he was also very pleased with the play of the young big man, but isn't surprised at their development so far.
"We recruited them because we think they're really good players, and they're coming along pretty good," Rose said.
Junior guard Jackson Emery had a tough night shooting for the second game in a row, and has made only two of fourteen shots during exhibition play.
"I'm just telling the guys I'm getting all of my misses out, so come Friday, hopefully I make all my shots, and got all the misses out for the past two games. Keep shooting, that's the most important thing," said Emery with a wink, joking that this mentality is something his teammate, Tavernari, can attest to.
Charles Abouo, who struggled in Thursday night's game against Trinity Western, came on strong after a slow start to score 12 points, and he provided the highlight of the night.
Abouo drove the baseline and skied for an electrifying two handed dunk in traffic.
After the game, Tavernari said he felt like the Cougars' defensive effort was what made them so effective against the Wildcats.
"I definitely think it was better than the first game," he said. "Everybody did a better job of understanding the defensive game plan, and how to guard... I think we are one step above what we were last Thursday."
The reigning conference champions maintained control for most of the game, and kept Central Washington from cutting the lead to less than 18 throughout the second half.
While the Cougars felt happy with their defensive effort, the Wildcats didn't put up much of a fight, shooting only 24.2 percent for the game, marking the lowest field goal percentage for one of BYU's exhibition opponents in the last ten years.
The Cougars open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 13 when they host Bradley at 7:30 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The game will be broadcast live on The Mtn.
CLICK HERE for game notes and quotes.