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Cougars Tie Program 3-point Record in 108-59 Win Over Westminster
PROVO, Utah — BYU Men’s Basketball opened its season with a dominant 108-59 win over Westminster in a game where 14 players played and 13 players scored.
The Cougars hit 18 3-pointers to tie the BYU record for most threes in a game, which they set last season against Loyola Marymount.
“I thought they really shared the ball and tried to pressure in transition the whole night long, which I was really happy about,” said BYU head coach Mark Pope. “I didn’t feel like the ball ever got sticky.”
Senior point guard Alex Barcello led the team with a career-high 25 points, followed by Utah Valley transfer Brandon Averette with 15 in his BYU debut. Kolby Lee had a career-high seven assists and Richard Harward led the Cougars in rebounds with seven.
Averette made his first shot in a BYU uniform early on, opening the game with a three. Lee followed with a floater for an early 5-0 Cougar lead. Connor Harding and Lee each added threes of their own for an 11-2 lead.
Averette swished another three, as did Barcello, and the Cougars went up 20-7 through four minutes.
Gideon George and Trevin Knell both hit threes as BYU raced out to a 28-12 lead by shooting 7-for-13 from beyond the arc early in the first half.
Three consecutive baskets made by Barcello: a 3-pointer, a backdoor layup, and a pull-up jumper on the break pushed the lead to a then game-high 19 points.
Knell nailed another triple and the Cougars led 45-22 after 16 minutes. Utah Valley transfer Wyatt Lowell then checked in and added a three, stretching the BYU lead to 25, 52-27. BYU led 54-31 at the half, with Barcello scoring a team-high 16 points.
Westminster was plagued by turnovers and missed shots early, but Reme Torbert paced the Griffins with 13 first-half points.
The Cougars shot 43.5% from beyond the arc for 10 made threes. Eight BYU players made 3-pointers in the half, setting a BYU record.
Averette opened the scoring for BYU in the second half as well with a first possession floater. Layups by Gavin Baxter, Averette and Barcello pushed the lead to 30 at 62-32.
Harding added a layup and a 3-pointer, Caleb Lohner got a breakaway dunk off a steal, and Averette hit a pull-up jumper for a 73-40 BYU lead.
Averette followed that up with another three and then found Baxter for a fast-break dunk. A Baxter lay-in and threes by George, Barcello, Hunter Erickson and Knell put the Cougars up by 50, leading 96-46.
Spencer Johnson got on the board with a two as BYU went on a 15-1 run late in the second half. A Knell layup got the Cougars to the century mark, putting them up 100-49.
Johnson added a three and a pair of free throws before Jesse Wade hit a long-awaited three-ball to put the Cougars up 108-54.
Westminster’s Jarrett Jordan made a long two at the buzzer, ending the game at 108-59. Jordan (14 points) and Torbert (16 points) led the way for the Griffins.
The Griffins played a 2-3 zone for the majority of the game and the Cougars made Westminster pay, shooting 46.2% from three. Ten Cougars hit from beyond the arc. BYU also shot 57.7% from the field.
The Cougars will be back at the Marriott Center again tomorrow night, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. MST against New Orleans.
This story was originally published in BYU's Daily Universe
BYU opens 2020-21 hoops season versus in-state foe Westminster College
PROVO, Utah – BYU men’s basketball opens the 2020-21 season on Wednesday, Nov. 25, against in-state foe Westminster College at the Marriott Center in Provo. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv with tipoff scheduled for 6:00 p.m. MT. BYUtv will debut its basketball preview show Countdown To Tipoff beginning at 5:30 p.m. MT.
The game will also be broadcast on the BYU Sports Network on KSL Radio 102.7 FM/1160 AM, BYUradio SiriusXM 143, BYUradio.org, BYUradio app, BYU Cougars app, BYU Gameday App.
The Cougars enter year two of the Mark Pope era with a promising roster in what will likely be one of the most unique seasons in college basketball history. The 2019-20 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns about the virus continue to impact sports at all levels.The start date for the 2020-21 men’s basketball season was pushed back to November but the 2021 NCAA Tournament remains on schedule.
In 2019-20, Pope led the Cougars to a final national ranking of No. 18/16 in the AP/USA Today Coaches polls and a 24-8 overall record. BYU made significant improvements shooting from long range and set several program records along the way. The Cougars shot 42.2 percent in 2019-20 (first in the nation) after hitting 33.0 percent in 2018-19.
Several of BYU’s returning players made significant improvements from 2018-19 to 2019-20, including Connor Harding (30.9 percent to 44.2), Kolby Lee (25.0 to 71.1) amd Alex Barcello (29.2 to 48.6). The 2019-20 Cougars also set program record for 3-point field goals (332) and 3-point field goals per game (10.4) in a single season.
BYU’s 2020-21 squad is deep and experienced and features several exciting newcomers.