BYU basketball • Senior took elbow to the eye in practice but excelled against Pepperdine.
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Malibu, Calif. • Brandon Davies wasn't trying to make a fashion statement on Thursday night by wearing a blue headband, but the BYU senior played so well that the accessory might just become a permanent part of his game attire.
Davies scored 20 points on 10-for-17 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Cougars held off Pepperdine 63-61 in front of 1,824 fans at Firestone Fieldhouse.
"He was awesome," said BYU guard Tyler Haws, who added a game-high 21 points. "When we can get him the ball and he's going to work like he was tonight, it creates so many opportunities for other players, too."
Davies took an elbow above his right eye in practice on Wednesday from Ian Harward, and eight stitches were needed to close the cut. He wore the headband to cover the padded bandage that covered the stitches.
"It is funny because it kind of looks like Harry Potter. It is like a 'Z' ... and he's really proud of it," Haws said.
The Cougars were in trouble in the first half, but Davies rescued the team with 6-of-12 shooting. The other Cougars went 4 of 20 in the first half, and Pepperdine took a 31-20 lead at the break.
"We are kind of banged up," said BYU coach Dave Rose. "He got eight stitches [above] his eye yesterday, and he wanted something to cover it and have some padding on it. Then Ty has a thigh bruise. It kind of loosened up in the second half because he was much, much better in the second half."
And Davies remained consistent as Pepperdine refused to double-team the big guy as other teams have done. Several times, Davies found guys cutting to the basket for easy layups.
Davies said earlier this week that he was ready to soak up the Southern California sun, but wasn't ready to acknowledge that his career is drawing to a close.
Before the Cougars started the second half of West Coast Conference play with the road win, Davies agreed that his final season hasn't gone as well as he would have hoped, but still believes the best is yet to come.
"We still have a lot of games to play, a lot of things we still want to accomplish," he said. "I feel like I am still a long ways away from being done."
Brandon Davies vs. Pepperdine
Field goals • 10 of 17
Points • 20
Rebounds • 12
Assists • 3