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BYU basketball: BYU, Pepperdine forced to compete without key players in rematch

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PROVO — Both BYU and Pepperdine found themselves short-handed Thursday night when they met at the Marriott Center.

While Cougar freshman forward Eric Mika sat out due to a hip injury suffered last weekend against San Diego, the Waves had three players sidelined.

Forward Brendan Lane (knee) and guards Malcolm Brooks (ankle) and Nikolas Skouen (illness) all missed Thursday’s game.

Starters Lane and Brooks are the Waves’ top two scorers in West Coast Conference play. Lane is averaging 17 points per game in league play, and Brooks is averaging 15.8 points.

Even without that trio, Pepperdine gave the Cougars a battle before falling, 84-72.

As for Mika, the decision was made earlier in the day that he wouldn’t play against the Waves.

“We tried to see what he could do in shootaround,” said BYU coach Dave Rose. “(Mika is) not ready. He doesn’t feel like he has a lot of power in his leg. … He’ll get more treatment and see how he feels on Saturday. … Our guys were noticeably concerned that he wasn’t going to play.”

Josh Sharp started in place of Mika. Sharp didn’t score and had five rebounds in 16 minutes of play.

Meanwhile, Lane’s knee was checked by doctors this week. He had pain following Saturday’s game at San Francisco, and saw limited practice time Wednesday. Lane did participate in Thursday’s shootaround, but the Pepperdine coaches and athletic training staff decided that Lane should not play as a precaution to prevent further injury.

Brooks sustained a sprained ankle late in the first half at San Francisco last Saturday. It was determined that his ankle hadn’t healed enough to play.

Skouen got sick Thursday and did not attend the team’s shootaround.

That left Pepperdine with one senior, four sophomores and six freshmen on its roster Thursday night.

Stacy Davis (17 points), Jeremy Major (12) and Lamond Murray Jr. (14) provided most of the scoring for the Waves with Lane and Brooks unavailable.

HAWS REACHES 1,500: BYU junior Tyler Haws, who scored a game-high 35 points against Pepperdine, now has more than 1,500 career points. He surpassed Kresimir Cosic in all-time scoring at BYU, and he’s the 15th player in school history to reach that milestone.

“That’s an honor,” Haws said of eclipsing Cosic.

Haws also has six career games with 30 or more points, breaking a tie with Timo Saarelainen for eighth all time, one behind John Fairchild for seventh.