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BYU Holds on for Big WCC Win Over Pepperdine
PROVO, Utah – Despite a late surge from Pepperdine, the BYU men's basketball team held off the Waves for a 65-54 win on Saturday night at the Marriott Center and a big West Coast Conference win.
“How awesome was that?" said BYU head coach Mark Pope. "This Pepperdine team is so good. They are just so dangerous. Anytime you have a team with a veteran guy like Colbey Ross, whose been one of the top point guards in the league over the last three or four years, it’s problematic because he can beat you in so many ways. They’re so physical. We’re super grateful for the win.”
Brandon Averette led all BYU players with 15 points while bringing down six rebounds and dishing out five assists. Trevon Knell added 12 points, including four treys and two rebounds while Kolby Lee also contributed double-digit points with 10 and three takeaways.
The Waves scored the first points of the game, and BYU quickly after gained control going on an 11-4 run to make the score 18-11.
A jumper and a free throw pushed the Cougars to a double-digit lead before a double-foul situation sent both teams to the free throw line. Averette was the only one to capitalize from the charity stripe draining both shots, making it 26-15 for BYU. The Cougars continued the scoring, eventually pushing to a 13-point lead as Knell hit a 3-pointer followed by a layup from Averette to make the score 33-20.
Both Jesse Wade and Spencer Johnson added two free throws apiece bringing the score to 37-24 and Pepperdine added two from the charity stripe to close out the half at 37-26.
In the first half, BYU dominated from inside the paint scoring 16 to the Waves six while also control the game at the board grabbing 22 defensive rebounds to Pepperdine’s 12. The Cougars shot 44 percent from the field as Averette led all scorers with 13 points.
Matt Haarms didn't score his his first points of the game until a jumper in the second half to put BYU up 39-26. The Cougars continued their scoring flow as Knell hit his career-high fourth trey of the game for a 12-point lead at 44-32.
BYU maintained a double-digit lead until Pepperdine capitalized on the Cougars scoring drought, posting 12 unanswered points to bring the score within four at 55-51. Richard Harward hit a big jumper to end the drought, but it was quickly followed by a 3-pointer from the Waves, shrinking the lead to three at 57-54. However, BYU adjusted and regained control of the game going on an eight-point scoring run, featuring a deep-two buzzer-beater from Haarms to close out the win at 65-54.
BYU and Pepperdine will now switch courts, as the Cougars head to Malibu, California, to take on Pepperdine on their home court on Wednesday, Jan. 27. Tipoff is scheduled for noon PST with live coverage on the BYU Sports Network.
BYU to Take on Pepperdine Saturday Night at Home
PROVO, Utah – BYU men’s basketball will face Pepperdine (6-6, 2-1) at home on Saturday. On Thursday, BYU defeated the Portland Pilots 95-67, while the Waves picked up a win over Pacific 85-68.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. MST. It will also be broadcast live on the BYU Sports Network on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2 and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
BYU Notes (12-3, 3-1 West Coast Conference)
- The Cougars are 12-3, most recently defeating Portland 95-67 at the Marriott Center.
- BYU has wins over Portland, San Francisco, Saint Mary’s, Weber State, Texas Southern, No. 18 San Diego State, Utah, Utah State, St. John’s, Utah Valley, New Orleans and Westminster. The three losses were to USC, Boise State and No. 1 Gonzaga.
- BYU is led by senior guard Alex Barcello who is averaging 15.9 points, 4.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game. Barcello is 33-for-59 from beyond the arc. The 56% clip is No. 1 in the nation among players who have shot 50+ threes.
- Matt Haarms added three blocks against Portland, bringing his season total to 25. If the season were to end today, his 1.66 blocks per game average would place him No. 7 all-time at BYU for an individual season. The 48 blocks he is on track to finish with would put him at No. 10, beating out Brandon Davies’s 47 blocks in 2011-12.
Head Coach – Mark Pope
- Alma Mater: Kentucky, 1996
- Division I Career Record: 113-67 (6th season)
- Record at BYU: 36-11 (2nd season)
Pepperdine Notes (6-6, 2-1 West Coast Conference)
- Pepperdine is 6-6, after picking up a victory over Pacific 85-68 on Thursday. After opening up the conference season with a loss at No. 1 Gonzaga, the Waves have won back-to-back games at home. The 2-1 record to open up conference play is the Waves' best since the 2014-15 season, when it started 4-1. The Waves went on to sweep the Cougars that year.
- Pepperdine has wins this season over Pacific, Portland, Concordia-Irvine, Cal, Saint Katherine and UC Irvine. Its losses have come to No. 1 Gonzaga, CSU Bakersfield, UC Santa Barbara, CSUN, San Diego State and No. 22 UCLA.
- Three of the Waves’ six losses came down to the wire. Pepperdine battled No. 22 UCLA to three overtimes before losing by nine. Their next two losses were each decided by five points.
- Pepperdine is led by guard Colbey Ross and forward Kessler Edwards. Ross is averaging 15.9 points per game on the season and 9.3 assists per game in conference play. Edwards scored 37 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in Thursday’s game against Pacific. Ross was a first team all-conference player a year ago, while Edwards made second team all-WCC.
Head Coach – Lorenzo Romar
- Alma Mater: Cincinnati, 1992
- Division I Career Record: 429-324 (24th Season)
- Record at Pepperdine: 80-84 (6th Season; 1996-99, 2018-present)
- All-Time Series: BYU leads 16-7
- Last Meeting: BYU won 81-64, 2/29/2020
- BYU’s five-game win streak is the second longest in the history of the series. The Cougars won seven straight from 2003-2013, but only four of those games came with BYU as a member of the WCC.
- Waves head coach Lorenzo Romar is 0-5 all-time against the Cougars. In addition to the last three matchups as WCC foes, BYU defeated him when he was at Pepperdine during the 1997-98 season, and again in the first round of the 2013 NIT when he was the head coach of the Washington Huskies.
- TV: ESPN2
- TV Talent: Dave Flemming (play-by-play), and Sean Farnham (analyst)
- Radio: BYU Sports Network, BYU Radio Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2, KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM
- Streamed Audio: BYURadio.org, BYUCougars.com/LiveRadio and the BYU Radio, BYUCougars and BYU Gameday apps
- Radio Talent: Greg Wrubell (play-by-play), Mark Durrant (analyst)
- Live Stats: BYUCougars.com