PROVO, Utah – Four players scored in double figures as the BYU men’s basketball team grounded the Portland Pilots 86-72 on Saturday night at the Marriott Center.
"I’m really pleased with how we shared the ball on offense," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "Our emphasis in the last week was to try to get our guys to compete together as a group on both ends of floor. Defensively we were really together as a group in man and zone. The guys came to play and trusted each other."
BYU (19-8, 9-4) shot 59.6 percent for the game on 34 of 57 shots – the team's best shooting night of the season – while Portland (10-18, 3-10) went 28 of 60 for 46.7 percent.
Former Cougar greats Mel Hutchins and Roland Minson were honored at halftime with a special jersey retirement ceremony. Hutchins was an All-American, NBA Rookie of the Year and with Minson, led the Cougars to the 1951 NIT Championship. Minson was BYU’s all-time leading scorer with 1,407 career points for 22 years until the record was broken in 1973 and was the MVP of the NIT.
BYU opened the game with a 10-6 lead, six points coming from Haws and four from Davies. Cusick added a triple to make it a 13-6 lead with 13:00 to play in the first half.
The trey was part of a 9-3 run that built the Cougar lead to 17-9 over the next two minutes. Cusick added another 3-pointer with 11:10 to go until the break.
A 10-0 Cougar run had the Pilots trailing at 27-12 with 8:20 left until halftime. Portland broke up the run with a made free throw but Haws quickly responded with a long two on the next possession.
Brock Zylstra drilled a three and Haws added a short jumper around the three-minute mark to build the Cougar lead to 41-22.
Down the stretch of the first half, Carlino added one more trey for BYU to push the lead to 46-25 at the break. The Cougars shot over 60 percent for the first half and Haws led with 15 points while Davies added 11.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Cusick drained his third trey of the game to put the Cougars up 52-32.
Davies banked in a jumpshot to make it 60-38 with 13:48 to go but Portland had some fight left, knocking down their sixth 3-pointer to keep the lead under 20. A short 7-2 run by the Pilots made it 62-45 with 11:39 on the clock.
BYU wouldn’t have anything to do with a Pilot comeback however, putting together a 6-0 stretch to push the lead back to 24 at 71-47 with 9:17 to go.
With 4:30 left in the game Portland’s Tanner Riley knocked down a triple but Zylstra answered with a spinning layup on the next trip down for BYU. Riley tried to spark the Pilots with another trey in return but Haws was right back at it with a 3-pointer of his own to make it 82-62. The Cougars would go on to win 86-72.
BYU hosts Utah State on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m MST in the Marriott Center. The game will be televised on BYUtv and broadcast on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM.