Haws, Tavernari lead BYU to 77-61 win over Wagner

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(Photo: AP file)PROVO -- In a game that didn't serve as much more than a tune-up for the BYU men's basketball team Thursday night, a freshman stepped up to lead the Cougars to a 77-61 victory.

Tyler Haws, a freshman out of Lone Peak High School, led BYU (9-1) with 16 points and five rebounds to defeat his former high school coach's (Quincy Lewis) alma-mater.

Haws, despite his lack of college experience, has established himself as a consistent playmaker for the Cougars, scoring 17 points against both Arizona State and Fresno State before dropping in 16 Thursday night.

This week's pretty hectic for us, with finals, and studying and everything. But I think it was a good game to get us out and ready for what's coming.

–BYU forward Noah Hartsock

Junior guard Jimmer Fredette suffered an end to another long streak for the Cougars, failing to score in double digits for the first time in 24 consecutive games, ending his streak at 23. Fredette finished the game with nine points, adding two assists, two steals and a rebound. Fredette only played 28 minutes and took only five shots.

Noah Hartsock, who recently moved into the starting lineup, had another solid effort with 12 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three blocks; once again just missing a double-double.

Senior Jonathan Tavernari, who has struggled early in the season, shooting only 37 percent from the field, had a positive impact for his team, scoring 14 points to go with four rebounds and a steal in just 19 minutes.

After changing his number back to 45 against Fresno State, the senior has had much better luck shooting the ball, making 11 of his 23 shot attempts in the last two games. Haws, Hartsock and Tavernari were the only players who finished in double digits for the Cougars.

Head Coach Dave Rose told KSL Newsradio after the game that he was pleased with the number of assists (22) in relation to the number of made baskets his team had (28).

"I thought we really shared the ball well in a game where we ran our offense well and got a lot of open shots," Rose said. "I thought our shot selection was good tonight. We could be a little more consistent on making those things, but I thought we shared it really well and it led to good offensive possessions."

BYU attacked Wagner (1-8) with a 12-0 run early in the first half, and never looked back.

The game was a rather sloppy affair, with the Cougars and Seahawks committing 13 and 14 turnovers, respectively. Hartsock said he thought the stress of finals week had something to do with the sloppy performance.

"This week's pretty hectic for us, with finals, and studying and everything," Hartsock said. "But I think it was a good game to get us out and ready for what's coming."

Rose and Hartsock both called Wagner's 19 offensive rebounds unacceptable, while Rose mentioned that Wagner's high number of missed shots allowed for so many offensive rebounds.

Wagner, led by freshman guard Ryan Conrad (14 points), had a difficult time scoring against the Cougars, trailing by as many as 22 points, before cutting into the lead late in the second half when most of the Cougars' starters were on the bench.

BYU shot only 53.6 percent from the free throw line, and 16.7 percent from three point range. Despite their shooting woes, the Cougars' opponent had the same problem, shooting only 31 percent from the field and 21 percent behind the arc.

The Cougars will next face Eastern Washington in Provo on Saturday (7:00 p.m. tipoff), before hitting the road to Las Vegas to play Nevada in the HoopTV Las Vegas Classic on Tuesday, Dec. 22.

The BYU football team will also be competing that day in Las Vegas against the Oregon State Beavers in the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas.

Tipoff for the basketball game is 1 p.m. The football game will kickoff at 6 p.m.

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