BYU basketball: Tyler Haws’ big first half propels Cougars over Pacific
Published: January 30, 2014 09:52PM
Updated: January 31, 2014 08:59AM

Provo • New to the West Coast Conference, the Pacific Tigers learned on Thursday night what the other teams in the league found out last year.

BYU’s Tyler Haws is a scoring machine.

Haws scored 24 of his game-high 38 points in the first half as the Cougars routed Pacific 88-78 at the Marriott Center.

At halftime, Pacific coach Ron Verlin was asked by Spencer Linton of BYUtv how Haws can be stopped.

“I don’t know … do you guys know?” Verlin asked.

Haws, who had a career-high 48 points a week ago at Portland, entered the game with 1,648 career points, the 12th-most in school history. The 38 points is the most he has ever scored in the Marriott Center.

He passed Kenneth Roberts for 11th place and Brandon Davies for 10th place before the night was over, and now has 1,686.

Haws left the game briefly with nine minutes remaining in the first half having scored 21 points on 8-for-9 shooting. He made just one of his last five shots in the first half, falling short of the 29 he scored in the first half against Virginia Tech at EnergySolutions Arena last season (Dec. 29, 2012).

It was the 43rd 20-point game and ninth 30-point game of Haws’ career. He entered the game with a 23.6 average, best in the WCC and fifth-best in the country.

3-point makers

The Cougars made 8 of 18 3-pointers against the Tigers, after making just two last Saturday in that 84-69 loss at Gonzaga.

BYU was 5 of 10 in the first half from long range, with Haws going 3 of 3 from there in the first 20 minutes.

“It is definitely something I have worked on,” Haws said. “I am comfortable in the mid-range, but any time I can get a few threes to drop, it definitely opens up a lot of stuff for us.”

Haws finished 4 of 5 on treys and has made 16 of his last 24 attempts from beyond the arc.

Bullish on Mika

Freshman forward Eric Mika had an interesting first half of the Cougars’ West Coast Conference season. He scored 17 points in the first game against LMU, 10 points in the second game against Pepperdine, and 13 points in the home opener against San Diego before suffering a hip injury that would sideline him the next two games.

Since returning, Mika had scored 11, 10, 4 and 12 points in the four games prior to Thursday night’s game against Pacific.

Backup point guard Matt Carlino said the best is yet to come from Mika.

“I think the second half of league is going to be huge for him,” Carlino said. “He is really going to thrive. I can see it in him right now, that the second half of league is going to be big. You are going to see probably a different player than in the first half. That’s my expectation for him. I think he has a different mindset when he comes to practice right now.”

Mika started the game by missing a pair of free throws, but took off from there. He finished with a career-high 20 points and eight rebounds.

drew@sltrib.com