(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU)
Brandon Davies poured in a game-high 25 points on 10 of 13 shooting. He also had 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. He has scored at least 20 points in 3-straight games and has been in double figures in 18 of the last 19 games.
Brock Zylstra scored 20 points on 6 of 12 shooting. The junior knocked down 4 treys, his fifth time this year making at least four 3-pointers and 8th game in double figures this season. He also set a career-high with 8 rebounds and had 1 assist and 1 steal.
Charles Abouo finished the night with 16 points, 8 boards, 2 steals and 1 assist. It was Abouo’s 5th-straight game in double figures and 18th this season.
Matt Carlino finished with a game-high 8 assists. The freshman also chipped in 8 points and 3 rebounds.
Dave Rose went with a starting lineup of Matt Carlino, Anson Winder, Charles Abouo, Nate Austin and Brandon Davies. It was the 6th different lineup of the season.
BYU outscored Portland 13-2 off of turnovers in the first half alone and finished outscoring them 20-13 for the game. The Cougars forced the Pilots into 17 turnovers, picking up 6 steals.
BYU finished its inaugural season in the West Coast Conference with a 12-4 record and a third-place finish.
BYU opened the game on an 8-0 run at the 16:23 mark and Portland missed its first 4 shots and had 3 turnovers.
The Cougars forced the Pilots into 6 turnovers at the 8:29 mark in the first half and led 24-10. BYU had 13 points off turnovers to that point.
Zylstra hit his third 3-pointer of the game with 3:51 left in the first half to give BYU a 36-23 lead. The Cougars continued a 13-point lead at 42-29 heading into halftime.
Portland cut the lead to 8 points in the first 6 minutes of the second half with BYU up 51-43.
BYU’s led by as many as 17 but it was trimmed to 67-61 with 3:53 remaining in the game. The Pilots would not get any closer as a late 9-0 Cougar run put the game out of reach with BYU rolling to a 76-66 win.
Head coach Dave Rose
“I’m really happy for our players and their efforts tonight. With it being senior night, its really hard knowing that one of your two seniors isn’t going to play. A lot can go through the guys’ heads, but we had guys step up and play well. It was a hard-fought, competitive game and I’m glad we got the win and now we’ll look forward to the tournament.”
“Noah signed here before we had even coached a game. He put a lot of faith in us and what we thought we could do here. With him coming here and playing the way he’s played, we’ve been able to do a lot of good things. My heart will always hurt for Noah though, because he gives us a lot and I know he didn’t go out the way he wanted to.”
“Charles has been our go-to guy for a few years. He plays the two, the three and the four and he’s been involved in a lot of wins. He definitely made some big plays for us tonight.”
“We’re really happy for the win. Big shots really make the difference for us and it sums up our team’s aggressiveness on both ends. We get a lot of confidence from our fans and it’s always great to get a win in front of them. For me as a senior, it’s been great going into this season with a new challenge in this conference. I think we’ve played really well though.”
“This injury has just been one of those things that is really holding me back right now and it’s been a little hard to get focused. It was tough watching this game thinking about the ways that I could have contributed, but I’m feeling pretty good and I’m confident I’ll be able to go again. Heading into this tournament is exciting. Playing in a new arena will be a good change for us and we’re looking forward to seeing some teams again.”
Portland head coach Eric Reveno
“I liked our energy and poise at times. We worked really hard to defend them without fouling and not let them head to the free throw line like we did last time we played.”
“We have a resilient group. Early on when they got easy buckets and went up 16-4 I thought they were doing things that were preventable, such as when they were outrunning us on the floor. But we put a stop to that and did well at times.”
“I think I have a locker room full of guys who are getting better and want to keep playing.”