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Postgame notes: BYU 71, Portland 58

The following notes and quotes are from BYU’s 71-58 win over Portland on New Year’s Eve at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah. 

Series Results: BYU leads 26-2

Attendance: 13,793


Marriott Center Magic

BYU has protected its home court, earning a record of 46-7 in the first four seasons of the Mark pope era.

Sinking the Ship

The Cougars allowed only one Pilot to score in double-figures on the night. The other eight  Portland players totalled 26 points going 8-of-29 from the field while holding the Pilots to their second lowest point total of the season (58).

First Half Bench Points 

11 of BYU’s 26 first half points came off the bench led by seven from junior Spencer Johnson. 

On the Glass & Inside

BYU recorded 11 more rebounds than Portland, at 37-26, and also scored 12 more points in the paint than the Pilots, 28 to 16. 


Replicating Robinson

With a rejection in the first half, Jaxson Robinson has recorded at least one block in eight of BYU’s 17 games this season. The Cougars are 5-3 when the sophomore tallies a block. Robinson has also hit a triple in each of the last five games and in 15-of-17 games this season.   

Gideon for Three

Forward Gideon George finished with a team-high 20 points, one point off of his season-high. The senior shot 47.0 percent from the floor and knocked down a season-high four from long range. George finished with nine rebounds, one board short of his fifth career double-double. 

Fouss Free Throws

Traore has now made 26 of his last 28 free throws after going 8-of-10 from the free throw line. The eight makes from the charity stripe tie a career-high set last year against Utah State. 


  • 3-Point Field Goals: Gideon George (4)
  • Defensive Rebounds: Gideon George (9)
  • Free Throw Attempts: Fousseyni Traore (10)


  • Free Throws Made: Fousseyni Traore (8)
  • Free Throw Attempts: Fousseyni Traore (10)
  • Turnovers: Fousseyni Traore (7)


Gideon George

Team’s play against Portland

“I’m proud of the guys for fighting and staying true to the cause and staying with the game plan. Portland’s No. 12 was going off all night and Spencer shut him down, we got multiple guys on him; Noah, Spencer and myself did a good job on him. I am really proud of our team overall. 

The 7-game winning streak

“Just playing smart, believing in what the coaches preach every day, staying the course and fighting. Everyone in the locker room believes in each other and we come out every day to fight for our brothers. Bang, bang baby!” 

Team’s New Years resolution

“Just keep playing hard, no matter what. I think that is our identity right now. We’re going to keep doubling down on that, and making plays for our teammates.”

On Atiki Ally Atiki

“He is just so fun to watch. Just throw the ball up and Atiki is going to go get it and throw it down. When he knocked down the jump shot today, I was so hyped for him and it was beautiful to see.”

Head coach Mark Pope

Impact of starting 2-0 in WCC play

“We’re 2-0 for only the fourth time in this league, that’s crazy. In our four years here, this is the second-longest winning streak that we’ve had. This group is so interesting because the guys are still hungry to get better. There's just so much we can do better, and we can actually get better this year.”

On what it’s meant to have Spencer Johnson back on the floor

“It means a lot to us, clearly. We don’t have to call a timeout to teach him, he’s just been there and seen enough that he’s like ‘I know how to play basketball’. The plays he made early in the game offensively are super important as well.”

On how Johnson has played since his return

“Spencer’s been a guy that since the first day here was here, I threw him on the court and then I just didn’t take him off because he was doing such an impactful job off the defensive end as well. Thankfully, for all of us, that’s been the same thing. He hasn’t missed a beat. He’s just going out and playing great basketball.”