George’s big game powers BYU to 105-60 win at Portland
PORTLAND – In his first start as a Cougar, Gideon George had a breakout game to help BYU to a dominant 105-60 win over Portland at the Chiles Center on Thursday night.
George finished the game with a double-double, his second of the season. The junior scored a career-high 19 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. He also added three assists and two steals. George's 13 rebounds were more than the entire Portland team had in the game.
Five other Cougars got to double-digit points as Matt Haarms and Brandon Averette had 15 apiece, Alex Barcello and Connor Harding had 12 each and Caleb Lohner added 11.
"This is a hard game, it's a hard time of year, it's been a hard road trip, we've been on the road for four days to play one game, and I'm just super proud of my locker room," said BYU head coach Mark Pope. "I'm super proud of what these guys are giving to the team, from the guy who had our biggest numbers tonight to the guy who had the least minutes. It's pretty special, and I'm just so full of gratitude that I get to work with these guys."
BYU was dominant down low. The Cougars outscored the Pilots in the paint 48-16, while also outrebounding Portland 46-12.
The Cougars jumped out early in the game making back-to-back buckets to open things up and only surrendered one Portland basket before taking a 7-2 lead. A 10-point run gave BYU its first double-digit lead of the game at 23-11. The Pilots brought the game within five before the Cougars pushed ahead to another double-digit lead at 36-23.
BYU increased its scoring cushion, going on a 14-point run to close the first half, as Richard Harward scored a quick jumper just before the buzzer.
Continuing their momentum into the second half, the Cougars came out flying with back-to-back baskets to extend their lead to 24 points, at 56-32. Later in the half, George started off another 14-point run with two layups, before Barcello connected on a trey and Harding also put up back-to-back layups. Trevon Knell followed it up with his third 3-pointer of the night.
BYU reached triple-digits as Lohner made a layup which he followed up with a free throw and then hit a 3-pointer with less than a minute left in the game.
The Cougars now return home to face No. 1 Gonzaga on Monday. The game is slated for a 9 p.m. MST tipoff with live coverage on ESPN.