BYU-Saint Mary's Notes & Quotes
First Half Notes
BYU’s defense sparked the offense early-on as a Matt Haarms block led to a transition three from Trevin Knell off an assist from Alex Barcello. Gideon George honored toughness with a put-back score off his own missed shot, propelling the Cougars on a 5-0 run midway through the half. With starting guards Alex Barcello and Brandon Averette in foul trouble, Trevin Knell and Connor Harding came off the bench and contributed during critical minutes for the Cougars in the first half. Knell made an immediate impact with two quick threes. Harding anchored a Cougar defense that held St. Mary’s leading scorer, Tommy Kuhse scoreless on the half.
Second Half Notes
After shooting just 23% from the field in the first half, the Cougars heated up, hitting 67% of their shots in the second half. BYU nearly doubled its scoring input from the first half (23) with 42 second half points. Averette scored all 11 of his points in the second half, going 4-of-6 from the field and 1-of-1 from three. Haarms scored nine of his 11 and George six of his 11 after the break.
Knell led the team in scoring, tying a career high in points (15) and made three-pointers (four). Knell has connected on 15 of his last 21 from three and became the seventh different leading scorer in the past eight games for BYU. Three additional Cougars scored in double figures, each with 11 (Haarms, Averette, George).
Lockdown defense by the Cougars
BYU held Saint Mary’s to two made field goals through the first 10:40 of the game. Going back to the January matchup, the Cougars held the Gaels to just three field goals in 21:26 of game time. Leading scorer for Saint Mary’s Khuse was held scoreless in the first half, going 0-5 from the field and 0-1 from the line. Khuse finished the night with seven points on 3-of-13 shooting.
Leading from start to finish
The Cougars never trailed by more than one. After Saint Mary’s pulled ahead by a point at 28-27 with 17:45 to go, BYU answered with a 21-4 run, giving the Cougars a 16-point lead, 48-32.
Slow start for both squads
BYU started the game 6-of-26 from the field for 23% while Saint Mary’s started 6-of-23 for 26%.
Seniors finishing strong
Haarms ended the night with 11 points to go with a career-high 10 rebounds and BYU career-high five blocks. Each block came in the first half. Alex Barcello led the team in assists with five and added eight points and five boards. Averette scored 11 points, dished out four assists, pulled down a pair of rebounds and grabbed a steal.
In Haarms’ Way
BYU’s Matt Haarms celebrated senior night with his first double-double of the season on 11 points and 10 rebounds. Haarms wreaked havoc on the St. Mary’s offense in the first half, matching his season-high with five blocks. One of Haarms’ early blocks set up Alex Barcello’s fast-break outlet pass to Trevin Knell for a critical three-pointer to keep BYU in front.
Spark off the Bench
Trevin Knell came off the bench and matched his career high in scoring with 15 points on 4-of-5 from three-point range, including the Cougars’ first two field goals of the night. With his team-leading performance on Saturday, Knell has shot 71% from three over the last six games.
While St. Mary’s kept BYU guard Brandon Averette scoreless in the first half, the senior from Richardson, Texas poured in all his 11 points in the second half, nine in the first five minutes.
BYU head coach Mark Pope
On Trevin Knell …
“I was really disappointed with Trevin last game. I felt like he came into the game, worrying about the wrong things like we all sometimes do, but when you focus on the things that matter, when you focus on what you can control, all the other good stuff happens, and it certainly did for him tonight.”
On the culture of the team …
“These guys look around the locker room and they’re like, ‘Hey, I know he can help me, and he can help me, and he can make big plays.’ We’re really blessed. You don’t have this kind of team all the time. Nobody thought this team could do what they’ve done this year.”
On the Seniors …
“I don’t know if we’ve ever had three seniors like this, that all come from different schools and never imagined they would be at BYU. They’ve given their heart, soul, sweat and blood to this school.”
On being able to play this season …
“We’re so grateful to [Director of Athletics] Tom [Holmoe] and [Associate Athletic Director] Brian Santiago and President Worthen for working to allow us to finish this way. I’m so grateful to have been able to watch these young men really grow.”
BYU continues its three-game home stand on Thursday, February 2, when the Cougars welcome Loyola Marymount to the…