PORTLAND, Ore. – TJ Haws and Yoeli Childs combined for 39 points to lead the BYU men's basketball to an 83-48 victory over Portland on Thursday in the Chiles Center.
"It was a really important game for us," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "We weren’t shooting well but defensively it was as good of 40 minutes than we have played all year as far as our concentration level, our intensity and executing our plan. No matter what group they were all involved."
Haws tallied 22 points, three assists, three steals and one rebound. Childs recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds while adding two steals. Zac Seljaas also reached double-digits, scoring 12 points and tallied three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
The Pilots (7-18, 0-10 WCC) got the first bucket of the night before TJ Haws and Nick Emery hit back-to-back 3's to take an early 6-2 lead.
With 14 minutes on the clock Haws finished at the rim and then nearly 30 seconds later Emery set Gavin Baxter up for a dunk as the Cougars (15-10, 7-3 WCC) extended their lead to 12-6.
A trey by McKay Cannon sent BYU on a 9-1 run over a 3:36 span on the clock to give the Cougars a double-digit lead, 21-10, with eight minutes remaining in the first half.
Portland cut the deficit to five points, 23-18, but Yoeli Childs answered with a layup, Haws added back-to-back buckets and Seljaas buried a 3-pointer to bring the score to 32-18 with 3:18 on the clock.
The Pilots managed to hit a bucket from beyond the arc to slow down BYU, but Haws and Seljaas hit another trey apiece and Jahshire Hardnett finished at the rim to give the Cougars a 40-21 lead at halftime.
In the first half, BYU shot 45.7 percent from the field while Portland recorded 33.3 percent. Haws led all scorers with 12 points and Childs also hit double-digits with 10 points.
In the beginning of the second half, Baxter, Childs and Haws combined for seven-straight points to extend the lead to 47-22 three minutes in.
A pair of free throws for the Pilots stopped the run but the Cougars responded with an 11-3 run to continue extending their lead, 58-27.
With 6:42 remaining in the game, Luke Worthington scored a layup, Connor Harding added a bucket from beyond the arc and Seljaas scored four-consecutive free throws to extend the lead to 75-39.
BYU's Taylor Maughan and Dalton Nixon scored the final points for the Cougars to secure the dominant win.
On the night, BYU shot 48.3 percent from the field, 34.6 percent from 3 and 69.2 percent from the free throw line. Portland recorded a 31.9 percent from the field, 27.8 percent from beyond the arc and 54.2 percent from the charity stripe. Defensively, BYU forced 20 turnovers to score a total of 31 points
The Cougars return to the Marriott Center as they host Pacific on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. MST. The game will be covered on BYUtv while audio broadcasts can be heard on BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM), BYU Sports Network and KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM.
Yoeli Childs finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and two steals, his 13th double-double this season and 33rd of his career.
TJ Haws scored a game-high 22 points, his ninth 20-point game of the season and 18th of his career. Haws hit three 3-pointers, his ninth game this season with three-plus 3s and 33rd of his career. He also had three steals to tie his season high.
Zac Seljaas came off the bench to total 12 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
In his first start of the season, Nick Emery totaled eight points, four rebounds and five assists.
McKay Cannon totaled three points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals.
BYU's 19-point halftime lead vs. Portland (40-21) is tied for its second-largest halftime lead of the season. The largest was 22 vs. Alabama A&M. The Cougars also led Utah State by 19 at the break.
The 21 points scored by Portland in the first half are the fewest BYU has allowed in any half this season.
BYU’s 83-48 win was its largest margin of victory of the season. It was BYU’s second-straight game holding its opponent to fewer than 50 points – LMU scored 49 in BYU’s 67-49 win on Feb. 2. It marks the first time the Cougars have held opponents to fewer than 50 points in back-to-back games since Jan. 13 and 16, 2010 (67-49 win at Air Force, 91-47 win v. Colorado State).
BYU guard TJ Haws
On tonight’s performance
I thought we had a great defensive effort tonight and it propelled us the whole night and to get the win.
On conference standings
It is a great spot for us, and we are in control of our destiny right now as far as where we are at. If we can keep winning games, we can stay at this spot for sure.
On the team’s improvement
This team is getting better every day and I think our mentality is getting better. That is something that we are bringing every day in practice and I feel like we are getting after it and making great strides.
BYU head coach Dave Rose
On tonight’s game
It was a really important game for us, and I thought it would be interesting to see how our guys would play this game. We weren’t shooting well but defensively it was as good of 40 minutes than we have played all year as far as our concentration level, our intensity and executing our plan. No matter what group they were all involved.
On team’s improvement
I haven’t had too many teams that have been distracted as far as how they feel together but it is really interesting with how much time they spend together. This is a group of guys who really like each other. The tough five games away really brought this team together. We went 1-4 in those games and there are two ways a team can go with that. I really think this team has bonded together and wants to finish it out the very best we can. We will see what happens but so far, we are on a nice run.
On moving forward
It’s a big Saturday for us. We have travel involved here and we have got to be able to manage tomorrow and get a good plan. Pacific is a really defensively physical team. It isn’t a great offensive team, but they are a good defensive team.