Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chang sparks BYUH in upset win over defending NCAA Div-II champ

Jet Chang did not start in his first college game, but he made sure he made a difference every time he stepped on the court all through out his basketball career. The 6-3 freshman came off the bench and scored 10 first-half points to spark BYU-Hawaii to a upset win over Winona State, the defending NCAA Div-II champion.

Read the game report from BYUH website:

Seasiders Open with Win Over Defending Champs

Laie, HI—The Brigham Young University Hawaii men’s basketball team opened the season with an exciting, 78-76 victory over defending NCAA II champion Winona State tonight before an energized crowd in the Cannon Activities Center.  Junior center Lucas Alves, the Pacific West Conference pre-season Player of the Year, lived up to the billing by scoring 27 points and pulling down 12 rebounds to lead the Seasiders to the win.

BYU–Hawaii, ranked 23 in the nation in the pre-season, started slowly against the ninth-ranked Warriors and trailed by nine points, 24-15, midway through the opening period.  But freshman Tsung-Hsien (Jet) Chang came off the bench to help spark a BYU–Hawaii rally by scoring all ten of his points in the first half.  Alves and senior Jermaine Odjegba also hit key shots as the Seasiders rallied to tie the game 33-33 on a resounding dunk by Alves.  After the teams exchanged leads the squads went into halftime knotted up at 39-39.

The teams battled through several ties and lead changes in the second half, with neither team leading by more than four points, until senior Trenson Akana hit a three-pointer to give BYU–Hawaii the lead for good with just under five minutes to play in the game.  An Alves free throw, a put-back by senior Nathan Sims, and a pair of charity shots by Odjegba put the Seasiders on top 74-68 with 3:05 to play but the Warriors battled back.  Winona State’s David Johnson sandwiched a pair of three-pointers around a jumper from BYU–Hawaii’s A.J. Reilly to make it a two-point game.  J.R. Buensuceso hit one of two free throws for the Seasiders with 1:16 to play but the Warrior’s Ben Fischer hit a pair from the line to bring Winona State within one at 77-76 with 20 seconds remaining.  The Seasiders then missed a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left to give the Warriors a chance to win the game with the last shot.  Following a timeout with eight seconds on the clock, Fischer attempted to drive the lane but lost the ball out of bounds with three seconds to play.  Reilly was fouled on the ensuing inbounds play and hit the second of two free throws with 1.5 seconds left.  A desperation half-court heave by Johnson was off the mark at the buzzer.

In addition to his scoring and rebounding, Alves added three steals and two blocks.  He shot 8-14 from the field despite being double and triple-teamed all game.  Odjegba finished with 12 points, six rebounds, three steals, and two blocks for the Seasiders and Akana scored 11 points, including three three-pointers.  Chang hit double figures with his ten first-half points.  Buensuceso and Reilly each finished with four assists for the Seasiders.

Johnson led Winona State, now 1-1 for the season, with 21 points.  Travis Whipple had 14 and Joel Armstrong ten for the Warriors.  Fischer finished with ten assists and four steals and Curtrel Robinson got six rebounds.

BYU–Hawaii and Winona State will face each other again on Thursday night in Laie at 7:30 pm.