Cougars roll at LMU for another big road win
LOS ANGELES — BYU men’s basketball finished its regular season road schedule with an 88-71 victory over LMU Saturday afternoon at the Gerstin Pavilion.
The Cougars have now won their last three West Coast Conference road games by a total of 90 points.
“I thought our guys did an unbelievable job coming in with focus and fight," said BYU head coach Mark Pope, "and our young guys Gideon George and Caleb Lohner did a really good job with really difficult defensive assignments, and then Matt Haarms was just off the charts tonight, in every facet of the game. His rim protection was probably the difference in the first half. His offense in the second half was extraordinary. It makes the game really easy when you just say ‘pass it to Matt,’ and let him go score.”
Matt Haarms led the way for BYU against LMU with a team-high 21 points. He also had a season-high five blocks, three assists and two rebounds.
Three other Cougars were in double figures, including Caleb Lohner with 18 points, Alex Barcello with 15 points and Brandon Averette with 14 points.
Lohner’s 18 points follow a career-high 19 points in his previous game.
Over the two games on the road this week, Barcello and Averette combined for 54 points, 20 assists and only five turnovers.
The win over LMU marks the sixth game in row where the Cougars have had a different leading scorer.
“That’s a team," Pope said. "Rich Harward was like ‘I don’t know how anyone scouts us.’ Clearly, we’ve got to get way better, but right now at this point of the season, I am so proud of this group. You have 17 guys contributing, and you have a rotation of nine or 10 or 11 and it’s so hard. Guys have to work so much extra to make it function, and it takes a long time for the stew to kind of coalesce and be right. These guys are really working hard at that."
The Cougars took off with the lead early in the game, all the way up to a 22-point lead at the half. The largest lead of the game was 32 points, and the Cougars finished with a win by 17. BYU never allowed LMU to take the lead.
BYU took advantage of turnovers, scoring 23 points off of 15 LMU turnovers. Loyola Marymount only scored 13 points on BYU’s 10 turnovers.
The Cougars shot a lot and shot well, shooting 55 percent to LMU’s 44 percent. BYU finished at 45 percent from behind the arc and 77 percent from the free throw line. Four Cougars made at least two 3-pointers, and the BYU bench put up 18 points.
Next up for the Cougars are two big home games to finish up the regular season schedule. BYU will face San Francisco on Thursday, Feb. 25 in a 7 p.m. tip and then Saint Mary's on Saturday, Feb. 27 in an 8 p.m. tip. The matchup against the Dons is on CBS Sports Network and the matchup against the Gaels with either air on ESPN2 or ESPNU. The games will also be broadcast on the BYU Sports Networks on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2 and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
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