SALT LAKE CITY — Tyler Haws may not have bragging rights on Jimmer Fredette. Yet after Saturday’s effort against Virginia Tech, he certainly has them on his dad.
The Brigham Young sophomore scored a career-high 42 points in the Cougars’ 97-71 victory, moving past father Marty into a tie for eighth all-time on the school’s single-game scoring charts.
Marty Haws was 10th on the list with 40 points scored in a 1989 game against Siena. Fredette still owns the school record of 52 in 2011.
Haws was all smiles afterward when told about passing his father. “That is a cool thing,” he said.
The game was BYU’s final warm-up before West Coast Conference play begins Thursday against Loyola Marymount.
While BYU (10-4) looked ready to go following the 26-point win, the one negative was the high-ankle sprain suffered by Cougars’ big man Brandon Davies.
He exited for good in the second half after scoring 17 points on 5 of 7 shooting in 25 minutes.
BYU coach Dave Rose said Davies will be evaluated Monday but indicated he wouldn’t have been able to return had it not been a blowout.
“He was pretty sore, pretty tender,” Rose said.
That only gave Haws a few extra minutes, and he made the Hokies pay.
“He was special,” Virginia Tech coach James Johnson said. “He’s probably one of the best guards we’ll play against all year.”
Haws had a chance to tie a school record the last time BYU played at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City after opening the season with six straight 20-point games. But he fell two points short in a blowout victory over Montana on Nov. 28.
On Saturday, he had 29 points by halftime after opening 9 of 13, including 6 of 8 from beyond the arc.
By then the Cougars (10-4) were leading 56-31 against a Hokies team that has dropped its last two by a combined 62 points.
“I love this arena,” Haws said. “The court is nice. The court is a little bit wider. Our guys play well here.”
Haws finished 14 of 25 overall with his six 3-pointers also a career high.
Johnson said he altered the game plan in the second half to avoid letting Haws get any looks or touches.
“It kept him from getting 60,” Johnson said.
Virginia Tech’s top threat, Erick Green, had trouble finding any rhythm.
Green entered the game as the nation’s leading scorer, averaging 25.4 points a game.
He finished with 12 on 4 of 17 shooting for Virginia Tech (9-4).
“He’s a terrific scorer. I thought our guys did a pretty good job of getting him in spots that are pretty tough to score,” Rose said. “He doesn’t really like to dribble into 3s. He’s a catch-and-shoot 3-point guy in transition. We did a good job of getting back.
“He beat us on the dribble a few times and got shots in the lane, but I thought we closed quickly on his penetration and contested him pretty well.”
The 6-foot-3 senior guard didn’t score until 14:17 remained in the first half, and the Hokies by then were already down eight.
From the beginning, the day belonged to Haws, who hit 3s from seemingly everywhere.
When the Hokies finally started guarding him, he found ways to get inside and to the line.
His driving layup with 3:37 remaining tied him with his dad, Marty, with 40 points on BYU’s all-time charts.
And his two free throws 25 seconds later gave him 42, tying him with Fredette for eighth-best all-time at BYU.
He then took a seat on the bench but not until after receiving a standing ovation.
Asked how hard it is to score 40 in a college game, Haws said it was tough. “But some nights you are just feeling it, and it feels like that rim is really big, and those nights are fun,” he said.
Early on Haws shredded the Hokies’ zone defense.
He opened with two 3s in the first minute and drained his fourth with 14:05 left in the half.
His fifth followed a nice feed after a scrappy play by Nate Austin gave BYU a 33-17 lead midway through the half.
His three-point play with 16:33 remaining pushed the Cougars’ lead to 30. On the play, Davies provided a nice feed underneath.
Davies also added a strong presence inside for the Cougars. He opened 3 of 3, including an alley-oop dunk off an inbounds pass, and got to the line nine times in the first half.
“We need a guy to lead us out, and Ty did a great job hitting shots,” Rose said. “We got the ball into Brandon, he got the double-team, we knew that we could get the ball out and maybe one more pass, one more pass and get some good looks. And it was important for us to hit those.”
He said a few defensive stops early also helped provide momentum.
“The key for us is we got off to some really good starts this year then kind of faded a little bit,” Rose said. “I thought we were pretty consistent the whole game. Our intensity level was good. Except for some missed rebounding assignments, I thought the first half was as good as we’ve played.”
Jarell Eddie led Virginia Tech with 17 points and Robert Brown added 13.
Overall, it was a disappointing effort by the Hokies, who arrived in Utah several days early following a 36-point loss Sunday to Colorado State in a Las Vegas tourney.
The Hokies beat Oklahoma State by 10 on Dec. 1 — their first win over a ranked nonconference opponent in 17 years. And they had a quality win over Iowa a week before that.
Now they have a week to regroup before opening Atlantic Coast Conference play at Maryland.
“We’ve got to have more guys playing well on the same night,” Johnson said. “We don’t have the luxury of having a couple of guys like Davies and Haws that can carry us.”
Rose, who has been searching for the right chemistry after seeing his team lose to Florida State, Notre Dame, Iowa State and Baylor (by 15 last week), at least knows what he has in Haws.
His 29 points in a half were the most since Fredette put up 33 in a Mountain West Conference tournament game in 2011.
BYU’s 56 points were the most it has scored in the first half this season.
But the Cougars’ defense also came up big.
In the first half, BYU held the Hokies to 30 percent shooting (10 of 33) and just 1 of 8 from 3-point range.
BYU shot 60 percent in the first half and 46.5 percent overall. The Cougars finished 7 of 19 from 3-point range — all but one of the makes by Haws.
“I think tonight just kind of showed him, showed our team, our staff what the future can hold for him because he’s a really talented guy,” Rose said.