BYU holds off Weber State for the in-state-school sweep
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Caleb Lohner tied a career-high, scoring 11 points, and also pulled down eight rebounds to help BYU (9-2) win 87-79 over Weber State (3-3) Wednesday night at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
With the victory, BYU is the first in-state team in the last decade to go 5-0 against in-state foes—with wins over Westminster, UVU, Utah State, Utah and Weber State.
Lohner came into the contest shooting just 28% from the field on the season but finished the night going 5-6 from the floor in a strong performance off the bench. Lohner, who leads the team in rebounding, collected a crucial offensive rebound and second-chance bucket to end a nearly-three-minute scoring drought with 30 seconds to go in the game. The bucket put the Cougars up sevn, 83-76.
“Caleb’s an awesome player,” said BYU forward Matt Haarms. “He’s just a freshman, but he’s already playing so much for us. He’s so strong—he’s probably one of the strongest guys on the team, and he’s just a freshman. His rebounding ability is what gets him in games. He’s going to be that for us. As this year progresses, he gets better and better every single day.”
Haarms led the Cougars in scoring with 15 points on 6 of 9 shooting. The 7-3 forward pulled down five defensive rebounds and blocked two shots. Alex Barcello continued to impress as he scored 12 points and dished out five assists. Trevin Knell helped set the tone early in the game with two three-point baskets and a drawn charge. Kolby Lee and Connor Harding helped the Cougars by combining for 15 points and seven rebounds to go along with four assists. Brandon Averette led BYU with a season-high seven assists.
The Cougars hit a season-low six three-pointers on 22 attempts. Previously, BYU had three games with only seven made three-pointers, two of which resulted in losses to Boise State (seven of 21 from three) and USC (seven of 30). The lone win came in its upset win over San Diego State on Saturday when it hit just seven of 23 from deep.
The bench came up big again for BYU and scored 32 of the team’s 87 points. The Cougars finished the night shooting 52% as a team and outrebounded the Wildcats by six, 41-35. The bigs for BYU continued to make a difference down low, and the team collectively scored 50 points in the paint.
“These guys have put in an unbelievable effort over the last two months—three months, really,” said BYU head coach Mark Pope. “This 11-game stretch has been incredibly challenging, with six top-100 teams in a row, and five in-state games, which are always just a bloodbath. Couldn’t be happier with where we are. We have a lot of improvement to do in order to be competitive in our league, but I’m excited with the way these guys have played so far.”
Up next, BYU begins conference play by traveling to Malibu to take on Pepperdine on Dec. 31 at Firestone Fieldhouse. The game will be televised on an ESPN Network and broadcast on the BYU Sports Network on BYU Radio — Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2 and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.