Tyler Haws went for 30 points for the third time this year.
BYU needed it. The Cougars used his 11-point stretch late in the second half to fuel an 84-72 win at the Marriott Center against a game Pepperdine squad, which was down three key players to injury but hung tight until Haws' dominance.
Haws finished with 35 points thanks to some late free throws. But he did his best work right after Pepperdine — which won the first meeting Dec. 30 — cut its deficit to 62-60 on a 3-pointer.
The Waves called timeout, but all that did was ignite BYU's offense, which was mostly stagnant after starting the game with a 12-0 lead.
Skyler Halford hit a baseline jumpshot out of the timeout, and Haws added back-to-back 3-pointers from the corner near the Cougar bench.
He added another three from the left elbow, then a jumpshot that ran BYU's lead to 75-62 with about two minutes left.
Kyle Collinsworth finished one assist shy of a triple-double, which hadn't been done at BYU since 1988 by Michael Smith.
Halford had 18 points in backing up his career-high performance last Saturday (28).
BYU improved to 10-7 (2-2 West Coast) and Pepperdine dropped to 10-7, 3-2.
The Cougars will play at home against Loyola Marymount on Saturday.
So much for a runaway. BYU leads 33-30 at halftime against Pepperdine despite scoring the game's first 12 points at the Marriott Center.
The Waves — down three key players before tipoff because of various ailments — pulled to a 30-all score before allowing a free throw and a Skyler Halford layup in the final minute.
BYU is just 12-of-30 from the field, and is 2-of-8 from 3-point range.
Pepperdine has Stacy Davis and Jeremy Major with seven points apiece.
BYU is led by Tyler Haws' 13 points, though he's only 4-of-11 from the field. He has hit all four free throws as well.
After BYU scored the first dozen points, leading to a Waves timeout at 16:46, Pepperdine pulled to within 16-12 at about the 13-minute mark.
In his second start, Halford hasn't been quite the same show. He has seven points on 3-of-5 shooting. He's 21 shy of last Saturday's win against San Diego.
BYU was later in announcing a scratch from the lineup, but it finally announced about 45 minutes from tipoff that freshman center Eric Mika will not play tonight.
He played a season-low 17 minutes last Saturday against San Diego, leaving early in the second half after a bruised hip was causing too much aggravation.
Josh Sharp earned the start in his place.
Pepperdine issued a short media release before the game that three key players would not play.
Malcolm Brooks, who scorched the Cougars with six 3-pointers in a Dec. 30 home win against them, wasn't healed enough from a sprained ankle suffered late in the first half of last Saturday's game against San Francisco.
Brendan Lane (Pepperdine's leading scorer) suffered a knee injury at USF and he was held out for precaution.
Same goes for Nikolas Skouen, who was ill.
Pepperdine missing those 3 players took away 38 of 80 points from the Waves' six-point win against BYU.
It made sense why BYU may have been caught off-guard a couple of weeks ago playing at Pepperdine.
Look at the stats now — nearly 60 percent of the Waves' scoring is by players that weren't part of the program last year.
The Cougars may try and up the ante on that unfamiliarity with Thursday's 7 p.m. rematch at the Marriott Center.
Starting center Eric Mika, hobbled by a bruised hip since last Saturday's game, hasn't practiced much this week and is likely limited for the 9-7 Cougars (1-2 West Coast Conference). Rotating guard Matt Carlino has been officially dubbed the backup point guard.
Skyler Halford, who had 11 points in 23 minutes in the defeat in Malibu, Calif., right before the new year, has taken over at the shooting-guard spot. He missed all three 3-point attempts at Pepperdine but then hit 4-of-8 last Saturday as BYU snapped a four-game losing streak against San Diego.
So BYU's getting itself figured out. Now to find answers they couldn't last time for Pepperdine.
"They're a good team," said BYU point guard Kyle Collinsworth. "We know what we're up against. We've got to come out focused."
Pepperdine (10-6, 3-1) hit 13-of-24 3-point shots in its first win in five tries as West Coast Conference opponents of the Cougars. Pretty amazing, considering the Waves were a 27-percent shooting team at home from behind the arc heading into that game.
So the question becomes, what's going to be replicated?
The Waves' hot hands, or BYU's resurgent lineup that was more impressive defensively against USD last weekend than it had been all season. And how will Halford be handled?
Collinsworth praised his own team, saying it'll be more prepared to guard outside shooters. He said players have been more diligent at scouting teams while watching iPads (no 16-millimeter video reel anymore, folks) and "knowing their personnel really well."
BYU trailed by 13 points with eight minutes left at Pepperdine. There were a couple of opportunities to get within tie-score range, but missed free throws and a couple late defensive lapses hurt.
It also affected BYU that Eric Mika fouled out, and was assessed a technical foul in the final stages of that game.
Mika isn't talking right now, either. But that was because a team official said he had Wednesday evening class, when the team granted media access.
Mika only played 17 minutes against USD on Saturday. He took a couple of hard spills — par for the course this year, it seems — and came out of the game for good after a dunk attempt went nowhere early in the second half.
Mika appeared to have a knee buckle as he went up for a breakaway dunk, after a teammate stole a Torero pass and left him open. Mika dribbled the ball out of bounds, played another defensive possession and was taken out.
BYU coach Dave Rose said freshman Luke Worthington and Josh Sharp, who has struggled to find minutes this year, would likely get chances to magnify their roles if Mika can't play much.
There's a little wonder about Pepperdine, too. Malcolm Brooks — who had 24 points and hit 6-of-9 threes against the Cougars — is sporting a sprained ankle.
BYU (9-7, 1-2 West Coast Conference) vs. Pepperdine (10-6, 3-1)
7 p.m., Marriott Center
Radio: KSL 1160 AM (102.7 FM)
Tip-ins: Pepperdine won the last meeting, Dec. 30, 80-74. It was the Waves' first win in five tries vs. the Cougars as WCC foes. ...Pepperdine is led by Brendan Lane, a 6-9 forward who averages 15.4 ppg and 8.4 rpg. Lane is a UCLA transfer, and one-time Bruin teammate of BYU guard Matt Carlino. ...Rose announced after Wednesday's practice that Carlino will be the backup point guard. That means Kyle Collinsworth will play the point and Skyler Halford (coming off a 28-point game last Sat. vs. San Diego) will be at shooting guard in the starting five.