PORTLAND, Ore. – Seniors Yoeli Childs and Jake Toolson scored 22 points apiece to lead the BYU men’s basketball team to an 85-54 win over Portland on Thursday night at the Chiles Center. The Cougars are now 18-7 overall and 7-3 in West Coast Conference play while the Pilots fall to 9-16 overall and 1-9 in league.
"Our guys played great and they played really hard," BYU head coach Mark Pope said. "We didn’t play perfect. We had seven turnovers in the first half that was a little discerning and we missed some shots we don’t normally miss but we stayed locked in on the defensive end the entire game and I am so proud of them for that."
In addition to his 22 points, Childs also grabbed eight rebounds and tallied two assists and one block. Toolson recorded six 3-pointers as he went 8 of 10 from the field to score his 22 points. He also added three rebounds and one assist. Alex Barcello totaled 17 points and four rebounds and TJ Haws dished out eight assists.
A 3-pointer by Toolson started the scoring for the Cougars but back-to-back treys gave the Pilots an early 6-5 lead. Following four free throws from Childs and Kolby Lee and a 3-point play by Portland, the two teams went into a timeout tied 9-all with 16 minutes on the clock.
Toolson buried another bucket from beyond the arc coming out of the timeout and a turnover by the Pilots gave the ball back to BYU, resulting in a 3-pointer by Barcello and a 15-9 Cougar advantage.
Four points from the charity stripe extended the BYU lead to nine, 29-20 near the seven-minute mark in the first half. A 6-0 run by Portland brought the score to 33-29 with 3:31 remaining in the half.
Following two-consecutive 3-pointers by Toolson, Childs converted on a 3-point play to close the half and give BYU a 43-31 lead into the locker room. The Cougars shot 44.4 percent from the field in the first half compared to the Pilot’s 37.5 percent.
BYU started the second half with buckets by Toolson and Childs to make it a 20-point game, 51-31. A Portland layup slowed the run down but another six-straight points increased the Cougars lead to 24 with 17 minutes left to play.
Through the first 12 and a half minutes of the second half, the Pilots only managed to score five points, three of which were from the charity stripe.
With 8:35 on the clock and BYU ahead 70-41, Portland scored a pair of free throws and was followed by a Childs layup and buckets from beyond the arc by Toolson and Nixon to give the Cougars a 35-point lead, 78-43.
Four-straight free throws were scored by the Pilots but Barcello scored five-consecutive points to give BYU a 36-point advantage, the largest lead of the night.
On the game, the Cougars shot 50.9 percent from the field, 42.9 percent from 3 and 75.0 percent from the charity stripe. Portland recorded 28.1 percent from the field, 30.0 percent from beyond the arc and 76.2 percent from the free-throw line.
The Cougars return to the Marriott Center to host San Francisco on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. MST. The game will be live on BYUtv with audio broadcasts available on BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM), BYU Sports Network and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
BYU guard Alex Barcello
On Jake’s performance
“He’s pretty badly injured but that’s what’s so aspiring about Jake. He’s going to fight no matter what and he’s all for the team. He’s here for us and it’s a good sign of a great leader and he’s such an aspiring player to play with.”
On the defensive play
“We worked really hard on defense this week and we were very proud with how we did that tonight. TJ was a great leader tonight on the defensive side of the floor with how well he was playing and how he listened to coach this week. He led us on the defensive end tonight.”
BYU head coach Mark Pope
On tonight’s game
“Our guys played great and they played really hard. We didn’t play perfect. We had seven turnovers in the first half that was a little discerning and we missed some shots we don’t normally miss but we stayed locked in on the defensive end the entire game and I am so proud of them for that. This gym is hard to play in and this team is a team that has lost a lot of games, but they are really dangerous, and our guys were great on the defensive end starting with TJ Haws who played his best defensive game of the year.”
On TJ’s performance
“It is so hard to get your group to put all of their agendas away and just compete to win and TJ Haws is doing that. He made one of the most epic shots in the last decade of BYU basketball a week ago and put up huge numbers and today he spent most of his energy being a playmaker. We have a lot of guys that are doing that right now and it’s pretty exciting.”
On Saturday’s game against San Francisco
“I was terribly outcoached when we played them two weeks ago. They are a great team and it’s a challenging matchup for us for a few different reasons. I hope people come to watch these guys do what they are doing right now.”
Yoeli Childs reached 20-plus points for the seventh time this season and 40th in his career, finishing with 22 points. After missing his first five attempts from the field, he made eight straight and finished 8 of 14 overall. He also added eight rebounds and two assists.
Jake Toolson hit 6 of 8 from 3-point range and finished with 22 points, his eighth game this season with 20-plus points and 14th-straight game with a made 3-pointer. He his hit five-plus 3-pointers four times this season, including three times in the last five games.
Alex Barcello hit 5 of 7 from the field, 3 of 5 from 3-point range and 4 of 4 from the free-throw line for 17 points. It was his 10th-straight game with a 3-pointer, hit 14th game scoring in double figures and eighth game making three-plus 3s.
Connor Harding and Kolby Lee both registered career highs in rebounds with nine and 10, respectively.
TJ Haws hit a 3-pointer for the 20th-straight game, the sixth-longest single season streak in BYU history. He finished with seven points, eight assists and tied his career high with two blocks.
BYU finished with 12 3-pointers against Portland. It marked the 13th time this season with double-digit 3-pointers, tying the Cougar season record for games with double-digit 3-pointers. The record was originally set in 2015-16.
BYU hit 50.9 percent from the field against Portland, the eighth-straight game the Cougars have hit 50.0 percent or better. It is the second-longest streak of 50-plus percent shooting in team history. The 1988-89 team shot 50-plus percent in nine-straight games.