The BYU-Hawaii men’s basketball team placed their first “W” in the wins column this season, defeating the visiting Oakland City Oaks 82-71 in a Tuesday night game in the Cannon Activities Center on Nov. 22.
“We had a great game. Shad Watson did a really good job coming off the bench,” said Head Coach Gabe Roberts. “He’s a great outside shooter, so when they went zone he was able to spot up and just hit open shots.”
Shooting Guard Shad Watson led the Seasiders with 23 points on 7 out of 12 three-point shooting. He also contributed five assists and two steals.
Watson, a freshman from Utah majoring in computer silence, calmly shared, “I try and play like I practice, and in practice I just shoot and shoot and shoot. In the game, they kept leaving me open so I just kept letting the shots go.”
The three-point shooting made the difference as the Seasiders outshot the Oaks 37 percent to 18 percent, with the Oaks only making two of their three pointers. They were led by Forward Addison Wagler who had 30 points, and Shooting Guard Matt Lucas who scored 20. The rest of the Oakland City squad failed to show up, only scoring 21 points amongst the rest of the team.
The Seasiders led from the beginning, winning the opening tip off. While the game started off slow, the Seasiders soon began capitalizing on the Oaks’ turnovers by pushing the ball and putting pressure on their defense, allowing the Seasiders to find open cutters and shooters.
In the second half, the Seasiders’ lead grew to as many as 18 points. The Oaks continued to battle but never seriously threatened BYUH’s lead.
Megan Russell, an undeclared freshman from Utah, said, “It was awesome. Best event I’ve been to this whole school year. I was really impressed by the skill I saw on the court and how kind they were to their opponent.”
The Seasiders said they hope to capitalize on their improved play by earning another win this weekend during their Saturday game in the Hoops in Hawaii Thanksgiving Classic. Roberts is hoping his team can focus on executing the proper plays and playing as a team within the system.
“We’ve got to work on executing our plays. It will improve our game immensely,” said Roberts.