LOS ANGELES – BYU men's basketball hit a program record 18 3-pointers and the Cougars pulled away in the second half to claim a 77-54 win over Loyola Marymount Thursday night at Gersten Pavilion.
“I thought our guys did a great job, especially in the second half," BYU head coach Mark Pope said. "These guys are trying to make plays for each other and it’s beautiful. We are watching something that’s never happened in the history of BYU and we are really lucky to watch it.”
Alex Barcello recorded 18 points as he went 6 of 8 from the field, all from beyond the arc. The six 3s are a career best for Barcello. The guard also grabbed four rebounds and dished out three assists. TJ Haws tallied 17 points, three assists and two rebounds. Jake Toolson and Yoeli Childs followed with nine points apiece.
The Lions scored the first two baskets of the game, but a slow offensive start by both teams resulted in an 8-6 LMU lead six minutes into the game. Following a timeout, Toolson buried a 3-pointer to give the Cougars their first lead of the game and a Barcello trey gave BYU a 12-8 advantage with 11:39 on the clock.
Six-straight points returned the lead to the Lions, 14-12. However, Haws and Toolson scored back-to-back buckets from beyond the arc to bring the score to 18-14 with under eight minutes to play in the first half.
Another trey by Haws and three points from the charity stripe gave the Cougars a 29-22 lead. An LMU bucket in the paint slowed the run down, but a 3-point play by Haws sent BYU into the locker room with a 32-24 lead. The Cougars shot 37.0 percent from the field in the first half compared to the Lions’ 52.4 percent.
Once again Loyola Marymount scored the first buckets of the half after hitting a 3-pointer and a layup in the first minute after the break. BYU answered with an 18-2 run that included a pair of Barcello 3-pointers and back-to-back treys by Haws as the Cougars extended their lead to 50-31 with 12:12 remaining in the game, forcing a timeout by the Lions.
Following the timeout, LMU scored a layup but Zac Seljaas went on to score eight-consecutive points – including two 3-pointers – to add to the BYU lead, 58-35.
The Lions went on a 7-0 run before Connor Harding hit a bucket from beyond the arc to quiet the LMU defense. With 5:22 on the clock, Barcello buried his fifth 3-pointer of the night to bring the score to 67-46.
The Cougars closed the game with three more buckets from beyond the arc from three different players, including the record-setting 18th by Evan Troy.
On the game, the Cougars shot 43.1 percent from the field, 47.4 percent from 3 and 64.3 percent from the charity stripe. The Lions recorded 51.1 percent from the field, 20.0 percent from beyond the arc and 60.0 percent from the free-throw line.
The Cougars continue on the road at San Diego on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. PST. The game will be live on CBS Sports Network with audio broadcasts available on BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM), BYU Sports Network and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
Jake Toolson hit a pair of 3-pointers, extending his streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 16 games. He finished the night with nine points, four rebounds and three asssits
TJ Haws hit 4 of 8 from 3-point range to extend his streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 22 games, tied with Jonathan Tavernari for the fourth-longest streak in a season in BYU history. Tonight also marked Haws’ 11th game this season and 47th of his career with three-plus 3s, tied with Jimmer Fredette for the BYU record for career games with three-plus 3s.
Alex Barcello drained 6 of 8 from 3-point range, a new career for made 3s. It also marked his ninth game of the season with three-plus 3-pointers. He has made 18 of 24 from 3-point range since Jan. 25.
Yoeli Childs reached 1,000 rebounds for his career, becoming just the second Cougar to reach the milestone. He is just the fourth player in WCC history with 1,800 points and 1,000 rebounds.
The Cougars made 18 3-pointers at Loyola Marymount, a new school record for 3s in a single game. The previous record of 17 had been set four times, including twice this season.
BYU guard Alex Barcello
On tonight’s performance
“I just went into the game just like I do every game, just trying to make the smartest play. My teammates trust me to shoot the ball and they found me some great plays. I had confidence shooting it so I’m just thankful a lot of them went in.”
On Yoeli’s contribution to the offense
“Yoeli is a huge threat on the offensive end and I think one of his best attributes to his game is his passing. He sees the floor really well and he just makes the right play.”
On the team’s 3-point shooting
“It just speaks truth to how this team plays as a whole. We try to be as efficient as possible. Just sharing the ball and making the right play, making that extra pass and keeping the dribble alive speaks truth to the way we play basketball.”
BYU head coach Mark Pope
On tonight’s game
“I thought our guys did a great job, especially in the second half. The ball was sticky in the first half and we were trying to make plays with two guys instead of five guys. We had five turnovers in the first half and only two in the second. We were 1 of 8 to start the game and end up making 18. Our second half was way better than the first half. The guys started playing with more force and trusting the team rather than trusting just one teammate. It was awesome.”
On the team’s shooting and unselfishness
“These guys are trying to make plays for each other and it’s beautiful. We are watching something that’s never happened in the history at BYU and we are really lucky to watch it.”
“This unselfishness and the idea to make plays for each other. There hasn’t been a night where we have stepped on the floor without the guys ready to bring it. It’s because they are motivated to fight for each other rather than themselves. That’s got more power than it does when you are in it for yourselves. They want so badly to win for each other and that’s special.”