George, Erickson shine in 65-53 win over Westminster


Box Score

Notes and Quotes

PROVO, Utah — Four players finished in double figures, including a career night for Hunter Erickson, as BYU men’s basketball beat Westminster 65-53 at the Marriott Center on Wednesday. 

“We didn't play our best tonight, but all things considered, I'm super proud of our guys tonight,” BYU head coach Mark Pope said. “For us right now, we just need to regroup and get healthy.”

Gideon George led the Cougars with a season-high 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting and a career-high five 3-pointers. Trevin Knell added 11 points while Te’Jon Lucas and Hunter Erickson chipped in 10 points each. Erickson set career-highs in both points and minutes in the game. 

BYU finished the game shooting 43percent from the field and 45 percent from beyond the arc. The Cougars were out-rebounded by the Griffins, 38 to 37, but scored more bench points (31 to Westminster’s 23) and points in the paint, 20 to 16. They led for a total of 38:45 and never trailed in the game.

Knell and Alex Barcello each knocked down treys to open the game, giving BYU an early 6-0 lead. A 5-3 Westminster run tied it up at 8-apiece before George went on a 11-2 run by himself to make it 19-10. 

Two Fousseyni Traore blocks, a layup and an Erickson floater then had the Cougars ahead by 10, at 23-13 with just under 10 minutes to play in the first half. 

Westminster rallied back with a 7-0 run to draw within three while the Cougars went scoreless for nearly six minutes before Lucas and Barcello ended the drought with back-to-back 3-pointers from almost identical spots on the right wing, extending the Cougar lead out to nine at 29-20. 

BYU again went scoreless, this time for the final 3:16 of the half, to lead by just five through the first 20 minutes, 29-24. George led all scorers at the half with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including 3-of-6 from deep. 

Opening the second half, Lucas connected from long range, Traore scored down low, Lucas knocked down a floater in the paint and Barcello scored from 3-point range to put the Cougars ahead 39-29. 

After an Erickson three and Knell layup, BYU held a lead of 14, at 46-32, before another scoreless spell of four minutes that George would end with a three from the top of the key to give the Cougars a 49-35 advantage with under eight minutes to go. 

Coming out of a timeout, Erickson electrified the crowd with a steal and fastbreak jam. Erickson, George and Knell then all hit from deep, with Knell also adding an old-fashioned 3-point play, stretching the BYU lead out to a game-high 21-points at 63-42.  

The Griffins finished the game on an 11-2 run, but the Cougars were able to close it out at 65-53.

With BYU’s previously scheduled WCC opener at Portland now postponed, the Cougars’ next game will be at home against Pacific on Thursday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m. MST. The game will be televised on BYUtv and broadcast on BYU Radio, BYU Sports Network and KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM