BYUH wins regional opener
By Kalani Takase
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Kalani Takase
LA'IE — The Brigham Young-Hawai'i men's basketball team showed why it is the best of the West last night.
The Seasiders had five players in double figures, led by JR Buensuceso's 21 points, to hold off Humboldt State, 98-84, in an NCAA Division II West Regional first-round game at Cannon Activities Center.
A crowd of about 1,800 mostly red-clad fans saw the top-seeded Seasiders shoot 56.4 percent from the field and win their 23rd straight. The Lumberjacks ended their season at 20-12.
BYUH (26-1) meets Cal State Dominguez Hills at 7:30 p.m. tonight in a second-round game. The Toros beat Central Washington, 87-83, in yesterday's other first-round game.
"It's always good to win and I thought our guys played hard," Seasiders coach Ken Wagner said. "I wasn't as pleased with our sharing the ball as I normally am, but I think for the first game of the postseason, it's good to get it behind you and hopefully we'll be ready to play tomorrow."
Humboldt State's Zac Tiedeman — who was diagnosed with pneumonia earlier in the week — opened the game with a 3-pointer from 27 feet to give his team its first — and only — lead at 3-0. Buensuceso hit his first of four from behind the arc to tie it and Nathan Sims hit another trey to make it 6-3. Buensuceso hit a running banker minutes later that capped a 13-0 run and put the Seasiders ahead 13-3.
BYUH shot 52 percent (14 of 27) from the field in the first half to take a 47-34 lead at the intermission.
The Seasiders led by as many as 19 points with about 15 minutes left after Jermaine Odjegba's tip-in to make the score 60-41. But the Lumberjacks rallied to close within 83-78 on a Tiedeman layup with just under four minutes to play.
BYUH went back to its outside game with Trenson Akana and Buensuceso hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to make it a nine-point game. The Seasiders also hit nine of their final 12 free-throw attempts to seal it.
"We always like to go to the line," Wagner said. "(Former North Carolina head coach) Dean Smith said the perfect offense is to get fouled every time you have the ball and I think it is nice if you can hit your free throws and we did a pretty good job of that."
BYUH made 28 of its 40 free-throw attempts while Humboldt State shot just eight times from the line, making six.
"Yeah, it was justified," Lumberjacks coach Tom Wood said. "I think the referee called it the way he saw it, so I think it's justified."
West Region Player of the Year Lucas Alves scored 17 points with seven rebounds and three blocks for BYUH. Sims had 15 points, Odjegba 13 points and nine rebounds, Jet Chang added 12 points and Akana contributed 10.
Tiedeman led all scorers with 27 points, including 17 in the second half. Kevin Atkins had 19 points and Jameson Figgatt added 12 for the Lumberjacks.
"I'm very disappointed we lost, we felt we had a chance," Wood said. "But, you've got to give credit to (BYUH). They're awfully good and talented, but we made way too much mistakes in order to beat a team like that."
HUMBOLDT ST. (20-12) 34 50 — 84
BYU-HAWAI'I (26-1) 47 51 — 98
HUMBOLDT ST. — Ernie Spada 6, Jameson Figgatt 12, Kyle Baxter 4, Zac Tiedeman 27, Kevin Atkins 19, Will Petty 6, David Broome 0, David Howard 4, Mike Kehrig 0, Colt Mathews 6, Keith Davis 0, Elliot Babcock-Krent 0, Owen Newman 0. Totals 34 6-8 84.
BYU-HAWAI'I — Trenson Akana 10, Lucas Alves 17, JR Buensuceso 21, Nathan Sims 15, Jermaine Odjegba 13, Marques Whippy 6, AJ Reilly 4, Jet Chang 12, Garrett Sandberg 0. Totals 21 28-40 98
3-point goals — Humboldt St.: 10-27 (Tiedeman 6-7, Petty 2-3, Atkins 2-6, Baxter 0-1, Howard 0-2, Bobcock-Krenk 0-2, Mathews 0-3, Spada 0-3). BYU-Hawai'i: 8-16 (Buensuceso 4-6, Akana 2-5, Alves 1-2, Sims 1-2, Chang 0-1).
CS DOMINGUEZ HILLS 87, CENTRAL WASHINGTON 83
Rodney Yearby led five players in double-figures with 18 points to lift Cal State Dominguez Hills over Central Washington in last night's first game at Cannon Activities Center. Michael Hernandez and Ryan Walton scored 11 points apiece, and Jerrell Smith and Jamel Ward added 10 each for the Toros (22-7). Giovonne Woods led the Wildcats (18-7) with 24 points.
CENTRAL WASHINGTON (18-7) 19 64 — 83
CSU DOMINGUEZ HILLS (22-7) 32 55 — 87
Leading scorers—CW: Giovonne Woods 24, Colton Monti 13, Chris Sprinkler 11. CSUDH: Rodney Yearby 18, Ryan Walton 11, Michael Hernandez 11, Jerrell Smith 10, Jamel Ward 10. Rebounds—CW: Sprinkler 10, Woods 7. CSUDH: Yearby 9, Hernandez 7, Ward 6. Assists—CW: Chris Scott 3. CSUDH: Walton 4.
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