Malibu, Calif. • There were days early in BYU center Brandon Davies’ career when his teammates would cringe when he went to the free-throw line. After what Davies did from the stripe Saturday night in the Cougars’ 77-64 win over Pepperdine, those days are long forgotten.
The junior from Provo scored a career-high 29 points — surpassing the 28 he had at St. Mary’s in late December — and grabbed six rebounds in front of 3,104 at Firestone Fieldhouse. More impressive, Davies made 15 of his 18 free-throw attempts against the Waves, setting career highs in makes and attempts.
“Yeah, that’s one of the things I try to improve upon every year, and I have spent a lot of time after practice trying to get my stroke down. And practice makes perfect,” Davies said.
Davies shot 56.8 percent from the line as a freshman, and 67.4 percent last year. He was shooting 70 percent this season before Saturday’s outstanding performance.
“He has improved his whole game,” coach Dave Rose said. “I think his patience in the post, tonight he showed multiple moves, but they were all at the right speeds. Very seldom did he get himself into a spot where he was in a hurry.”
Davies’ only mistake came 23 seconds into the game when he was hit with a technical foul after Matt Carlino was whistled for fouling Joshua Lowery. Davies blocked the shot cleanly and then thought the foul was called on him.
“It was just a personal error. I get into the games a little too much at times,” Davies said. “Unfortunately, it was at the beginning of the game where gyms aren’t as loud as they usually are. I said something I shouldn’t have. ... Stupid mistake on my part.”
Rose’s take: “Brandon looked at the guy and kind of intimidated him. [The referee] didn’t want to start that way, and so, it was kind of a quick call.”
Brandon Davies’ big night
FG-A FT-A Reb Pts Ast Blk
7-14 15-18 6 29 4 2