SPRINGFIELD, Mass. » Brigham Young-Hawaii still has its national championship dream intact.
The Seasiders continued their march in the NCAA Division II basketball tournament with a 96-89 win over Bloomfield College yesterday in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight at the MassMutual Center
Jet Chang fueled the victory, scoring 22 points and adding five assists before fouling out. Five other Seasiders scored in double figures as they won their fourth straight.
DIVISION II SEMIFINALS
At Springfield, Mass.
BYUH (21-8) plays top-ranked West Liberty (33-0) today in the semifinals (2:30 p.m. Hawaii time).
The Hilltoppers from West Virginia rocked Anderson (S.C.) 113-95 yesterday.
“It’s hard to prepare for a team we have never seen before, but I thought we put together a good scouting report and we had our guys ready to play this game,” BYUH coach Ken Wagner said.
The Seasiders connected on 61 percent of their field-goal attempts — 70 percent in the second half. They also hit 11-for-19 from 3-point range, with eight coming in the first half.
Marques Whippy’s layup and Jake Dastrup’s 3-pointer put BYUH ahead for good early. Despite senior guard Gage Daye’s 34 points, the Deacons (24-9) were down by as many as 12 and never got closer than four the rest of the way.
“We tried to slow him down as much as possible,” Wagner said of Daye. “He’s a great basketball player. He shoots well and makes great decisions. It was tough to handle him.”
Whippy, playing just 4 minutes in the first half because of two quick fouls, finished with 12 points. The leading rebounder in D-II finished with just five. University of Hawaii transfer Gary Satterwhite came off the bench for 12 points, and Rory Patterson and Junior Ale each added 10 points.
“I am proud of the guys because (Bloomfield) tried to make us play ugly, and at times it worked,” Wagner said. “But we responded and we had a lot of different guys step up.
“This was a good win.”
Art Ellis scored 15 points for Bloomfield, while Ahmad Harris added 13 and Robert Young 10.
“We had the same problem we had earlier in the year, and that is we didn’t play good defense,” Bloomfield coach Gerald Holmes said. “We had to play good defense to win this game and we didn’t do that.”
“We respected our opponent and felt like we were prepared for this game,” Chang said. “I was trying to do what I could to help the team. I wanted to hit shots and make plays. It was a good effort by our team.”