BYU to Host Loyola Marymount in Rematch at Marriott Center

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The BYU men’s basketball team will likely count on its post play again as it hosts Loyola Marymount University on Thursday in the Marriott Center for the teams’ second meeting this season.

The Cougars (16-4, 5-1 West Coast Conference) won the game on Jan. 5 in Los Angeles 73-65 on the shoulders of the post players. Senior Noah Hartsock had 21 points, while junior Brandon Davies had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

“Our inside game is really productive,” Hartsock said. “We expect them to double team us a bit, and make other guys shoot. But the way that Charles, Brock, Matt and Craig have been shooting should open it up for us.”

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Brandon Davies goes hard to the basket Saturday night at the Marriott Center. BYU beat Santa Clara 95-78.
It wasn’t an easy win, however. The Lions (10-8, 3-2) went on a 12-1 run to bring the score to 67-65, but the Cougars capitalized on their free throw attempts the rest of the way to seal the victory.

“This will be a whole different game from the one we played earlier,” BYU coach Dave Rose said. “You never get the same team, never play the same game the second time through. This will be a little difficult, so we’ll have to adjust.”

Davies is averaging a double-double in conference play with 18.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, while senior Charles Abouo, freshman Matt Carlino and Hartsock are also averaging double-figure points per game. Junior guard Craig Cusick has been on fire from beyond the arc in conference games, shooting 68.8 percent. He made three huge treys in the first game against the Lions, keeping BYU in the lead.

The Lions likewise have four players averaging double figures this season. Senior forward Drew Viney leads LMU with 15.3 points, also leading the team in rebounding. Sophomore guard Anthony Ireland and junior forward Ashley Hamilton contribute 14.7 and 14.3 points per game respectively, and junior guard Jared DuBois adds 10.4. It was Ireland who led the team earlier this month with 21 points and hit 4-for-6 from 3-point range.

“They have a lot of talented players, with some really good guards and a good post game,” Hartsock said. “We’re going to have to communicate well on defense and get some good stops. It’ll take a team effort.”

Loyola Marymount will most likely be without DuBois, who has missed the last two games with a concussion. The Lions have played well on the road this season with a 5-2 record away from home, including an early season upset against UCLA. The Cougars are a little banged up as they enter their third game in six days. Junior forward Stephen Rogers injured his knee in the first half against San Diego, and will not play on Thursday. A few other Cougars will play through injuries as well.

“We have a lot of confidence in our guys, and we’ll see how the pace of the game is going,” Rose said. “We rely a lot on our experienced guys and leaders, and this team is learning. Guys will get a chance to play”

The game will tip off at 6:30.

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