Braden Taylor | Posted: 21 Jan 2021 | Updated: 16 Feb 2021

Haarms Dominant in 95-67 win Over Portland

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Matt Haarms dunks against Portland
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PROVO, Utah – Senior Matt Haarms scored a season-high 23 points to lead BYU men’s basketball to a 95-67 victory over Portland on Thursday at the Marriott Center.

“I’m super proud of my guys,” said BYU head coach Mark Pope. “Boatloads of frustration in the first half. It's almost like they just want to be frustrated. We just can't get enough of it, and that's a real gift as a team when it doesn't turn you totally sideways. I was really pleased with how the guys shared the ball, and I was really pleased with all the contributions we got from our guys.”

Haarms made all nine of his attempts from the field and all four of his free throws to lead both teams in scoring. The seven-foot-three center also pulled down six boards, blocked three shots and recorded a steal in the win.

Seniors Brandon Averette and Alex Barcello both contributed 12 and 10 points, respectively. Barcello snatched a career-high eight rebounds and added six assists to his stat line. Junior center Richard Harward scored 12 points of his own, marking the fourth Cougar to reach double-figures in scoring.

BYU (12-3, 3-1 WCC) shot a blistering 57.1 percent from the field and held Portland (6-8, 0-5 WCC) to 37.5 percent shooting. The Cougars had a season-high 28 assists on 36 made field goals as 10 different BYU players scored in the game. The Cougars dominated the post, outrebounding the Pilots 44-27 and outscoring them 42-22 in the paint.

Trevin Knell knocked down a 3-pointer from the wing on the opening possession as BYU jumped out to a 9-3 lead. Portland took advantage of poor shooting by the Cougars and responded with 13-straight points to make the score 16-9.

Spencer Johnson hit from behind the arc while Harward and Caleb Lohner both scored in the paint to tie the game at 16-all. Kolby Lee retook the lead, 21-19, for BYU with a jump hook in the post midway through the first half.

The Cougars maintained control as both Averette and Barcello scored from deep to give BYU a four-point edge, 29-25. Lohner scored a layup and Harward added four points of his own in the post to increase the Cougars’ advantage to eight points, 35-27.

BYU entered the break with a 37-31 lead while shooting 48.4 percent from the floor. Portland shot 40 percent from the field and from behind the arc, making six threes. Nine different Cougars scored in the first half as BYU’s bench outscored the Pilots bench 16-6.

Knell started the second half in a similar fashion to the first, scoring a 3-pointer on the first offensive possession. A pair of free throws by Haarms and a fast-break layup by Averette increased the Cougars’ lead to 44-33.

The threes continued to fall for BYU as Barcello and Johnson made a couple of treys to give the Cougars a 14-point lead, 54-40. Haarms scored six points in two minutes and Gideon George knocked down a 3-point jumper off the bench to extend BYU’s advantage to 67-48, eight minutes into the second period.

Averette scored from behind the arc before dishing the ball to Haarms on the ensuing possession for an easy dunk to increase the lead to 26 points, 72-48. Haarms continued to fuel the Cougar offense, adding a 3-pointer of his own and throwing down another dunk.

A Harding 3-point jumper gave BYU an 86-58 lead, its largest of the game. Harward added four more points down the stretch as the Cougars cruised to the 95-67 win over the Pilots.

The Cougars will remain at home, hosting Pepperdine at the Marriott Center on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. MST. The game is slated to be televised on ESPN and broadcast on the BYU Sports Networks on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2 and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.

Box Score
Postgame Notes and Quotes