(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
BYU vs. Portland Box Score
PROVO, Utah – Juniors Brandon Davies and Brock Zylstra led the BYU men’s basketball team to a 76-66 win over the Portland Pilots on Saturday in the final home game of the 2011-12 season.
"I'm really happy for our players and their effort tonight," head coach Dave Rose said. "We had guys step up and play well. It was a hard fought, competitive game and I'm glad we got the win. Now we'll look forward to the tournament."
Davies finished with 25 points, marking his third consecutive 20-point game. He made 10 of his 13 field goals and shot 5 of 7 from the line. Junior Brock Zylstra added 20 points on 6 of 12 shooting and snagged a career-high nine boards.
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In his final home game as a Cougar, senior Charles Abouo scored 16 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Senior Noah Hartsock, the Cougars’ leading scorer, was unable to play in his final home game due to a knee injury.
"With it being senior night, its really hard knowing that one of your two seniors is not going to play," Rose said. "My heart will always break for Noah because he gives us a lot and I know he did not go out the way he wanted to."
The win locks up a third-place conference finish for the Cougars (24-7, 12-4) in their inaugural season in the West Coast Conference.
Davies led the Cougars early in the game with 15 first half points, which helped BYU maintain a double-digit lead throughout the half. BYU started the game on an 8-0 run and extended the lead to 16-4 with a Zylstra three with 14:26 remaining.
The lead reached a first half high 15 at 36-21 with 3:50 left in the half. Portland (6-23, 3-13) closed the gap with a 6-0 run to get within single digits but BYU ended the half by outscoring the Pilots 6-2 to take a 42-29 lead into the locker room.
Zylstra scored 13 first half points while Abouo added nine.
BYU opened the second half with an 8-3 run to go up by a game high 17 at 49-32. Portland narrowed the lead with a 6-0 run before Davies pushed the Cougar lead back to 10 with a one-handed dunk with 13:25 remaining.
Portland refused to let the Cougars pull away and got within six with just under four minutes left in the game. Abouo returned the momentum to BYU for good with an acrobatic three-point play that put the Cougars up 72-61 with 2:26 to play.
The Cougars will continue their season at the WCC tournament in Las Vegas, which begins Feb. 29. The WCC tournament games will be broadcast on BYUtv, ESPNU, ESPN2 and ESPN. As the No. 3 seed, BYU has a bye to the quarterfinals where it will play the winner of No. 6 seed San Diego vs. No. 7 seed Pepperdine.