Perhaps the BYU Cougars should play more games at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, some 35 miles from their Provo home. Sophomore guard Tyler Haws certainly wouldn’t mind.
Haws scored a career-high 42 points, including 29 in a torrid-shooting first half, and the Cougars crushed Virginia Tech 97-71 on Saturday afternoon.
Haws became the ninth player in BYU history to score 40 or more points in a game; Jimmer Fredette did it six times in his All-American career at BYU.
It was BYU’s seventh straight win at ESA, where it usually plays one or two games per season.
Brandon Davies chipped in 17 points but was taken out of the game with about 12 minutes remaining with an apparent leg injury that caused him to hobble off the court.
Josh Sharp added 10 points for BYU, including a resounding dunk and subsequent free throw that gave the Cougars an 87-62 lead with 6 minutes, 10 seconds remaining.
The Cougars never trailed, building a 56-31 halftime lead and cruising in the final 20 minutes.
Virginia Tech’s Erick Green, the country’s leading scorer with a 24.5 average, had just seven points in the first half but finished with 12. He was 4 for 17 from the field.
The Cougars shot 60 percent in the first half and got the tuneup they wanted for West Coast Conference play, which begins next week.