BYU overpowers Portland 78-65
PROVO, Utah — Four Cougars scored in double figures in BYU's 78-65 victory over the Portland at the Marriott Center Saturday night.
The win brought BYU’s record to 17-4, and 5-1 in West Coast Conference play for the first time ever.
The Cougars shot 50 percent from the field and 40.7 percent from behind the arc in their 12th straight win over the Pilots.
"This was a great game, a great win for us. We went out there and had fun," said BYU junior forward Seneca Knight. "We had each others' backs out there tonight. We know there's going to be frustration every game, but we have to go out there and get the job done and have fun doing it."
Te'jon Lucas led the Cougars with 16 points, adding seven assists, three rebounds and two steals on the game. Knight tied his scoring season-high, putting down 14 for the third time this season and adding three rebounds plus an assist against the Pilots. Caleb Lohner recorded 13 points with five rebounds for BYU.
Foussenyi Traore celebrated his birthday by shooting 6-of-6 from the field, recording his second double-double in a row with 13 points and 10 rebounds, also adding a block and four assists.
Lohner had a solid start to the night, opening the game with a 3-pointer and scoring all of BYU’s first seven points in the first five minutes. Portland gained a lead early into the half, and back-to-back 3-pointers from Lucas helped keep the Pilots’ lead minimal with the score at 15-13. BYU tied up the score with just over seven minutes left, with a layup followed by a jumper from Lucas, bringing the score to 20-20. The teams traded baskets until back-to-back 3-pointers from Knight gave BYU a lead and brought the score to 39-34 to finish out the half.
Lucas led the Cougars with 15 points in the first half, and Knight followed with nine. The Cougars shot 53.3 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from behind the arc, while Portland shot 45.2 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from behind the arc. Portland did not have a turnover in the entire half.
Alex Barcello began the second half with his first 3-pointer of the night and Lohner followed with a layup to bring BYU’s lead to 44-36. Portland pushed back with a 3-pointer, but Traore scored on back-to-back possessions and brought the score to 48-39. The Cougars maintained a solid lead throughout the second half, going on a 14-1 run in the final minutes of the game, bringing the score to 78-58. Portland fought to catch up in the final minute, managing to put down seven points, but BYU came away with the win at 78-65.
The Cougars shot 46.7 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from 3-point land in the second half, while the Pilots' three-point percentage decreased to 20 percent. Traore led BYU in the second half with nine points and eight rebounds, while Barcello chipped in seven points. Lohner and Atiki Ally Atiki both added six points in the half.
BYU’s next matchup will be against Santa Clara on Thursday, Jan. 27 at the Leavey Center. The game will begin at 8 p.m. PST and will be broadcast on ESPNU.
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