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.
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