BYU Has Tough Shooting Night, Loses to LMU


The BYU men’s basketball team struggled on offense as Loyola Marymount played strong defense, contesting every shot opportunity, and the Cougars fell by a score of 82-68 in the Marriott Center Thursday night.

The Cougars (16-5, 5-2 West Coast Conference) found a lid on the rim from 3-point range, shooting just 8 percent from beyond the arc, and 38.3 percent from the floor in the game. The misses were partly because of the intense pressure the Lions (11-8, 4-2) gave to every BYU player who touched the ball.

[easyembed field=”Photogallery”]”We didn’t get a lot of good shots,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “We had some good ones that we just missed, but for the most part, they contested every shot.”

Senior forward Noah Hartsock had a career-high 28 points on 11-of-15 shooting, but the post game was severely limited by the physicality of the opposing players.

“They did a great job on defense,” Hartsock said. “They spread us out, and made us shoot tough contested shots. They were very active as a team, and it made it difficult for us to make the shots we usually do.”

Sophomore guard Anthony Ireland led the Lions with 27 points, 20 of which came in the second half. He also hit 12-of-14 from the free-throw line near the end. Senior forward Drew Viney had a big first half, scoring 15 points, and helping the Lions hold a six-point lead at the break. Senior forward LaRon Armstead added 12 points.

“We’re proud of this because it took a great effort and we had to play with a lot of poise to beat a great team on their home court,” LMU head coach Max Goode said. “BYU has a great program. They are a great addition to our league. I’m just glad this one is over and in the books.”

The Cougars won the first game of this series 73-65 in Los Angeles on Jan. 5 because of good free-throw shooting down the stretch. In this rematch in Provo, the Lions were able to shoot 80.6 percent from the line, keeping themselves ahead even as the Cougars made a few runs to close the gap.

“We got a chance there in the second half, where we got it to 4, got some stops, and had chances to score those possessions,” Rose said. “It seemed like every time we had a little bit of a run and needed a stop, they came up with a big shot. They deserved to win this game.”

Loyola Marymount also out-rebounded the Cougars by a margin of 42-33, taking away BYU’s second-chance opportunities.

“We missed a lot of baskets, and didn’t have a lot of offensive rebounds,” Rose said. “That’s another way you can find ways to overcome a tough shooting night, and we didn’t do that tonight.”

Junior forward Brandon Davies had 14 points and 9 rebounds, and senior guard Charles Abouo added 10 points in the loss.

BYU has another quick turnaround as they travel to play Pepperdine on Saturday.

“We’ll find out what we got with this team,” Rose said. “These have been a couple of really good weeks for us. Now we have a setback, and we’ll see how we respond to that. There’s a lot of basketball to be played, and a lot of really good things can happen for this team.”

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