Bryant’s career night leads BYU basketball past Portland

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Ari Davis
Elijah Bryant drives towards the net against Gonzaga. Bryant scored a career-high 39 points against Portland on Thursday night. (Ari Davis)

The BYU men’s basketball team defeated Portland 97-78 on Thursday night at the Chiles Center in Portland, Oregon.

The win moved the Cougars one step closer to the No. 3 WCC tournament seed. If Santa Clara loses to St. Mary’s on Saturday, the Cougars will clinch.

Elijah Bryant led BYU with a career-high 39 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field and a perfect 12-for-12 from the free throw line. Eric Mika scored 19 points and had eight rebounds.

A blistering start saw BYU jump out to a 14-3 lead early in the first half. Bryant hit three 3-pointers and Emery added another during the opening five minutes.

The Cougars would extend their lead to 18 points behind 7-of-10 3-point shooting.

On the night, BYU shot 43 percent from beyond the arc and 50 percent from the field.

The Cougars continued their hot shooting in the second half, extending their lead to a game-high 27 points with 12:29 to play.

Portland shot 43 percent from the field and went 4-for-11 from 3-point range.

With Yoeli Childs still recovering from an ankle injury suffered against Saint Mary’s, Braiden Shaw was in tonight’s starting five for head coach Dave Rose. He had four points and 11 rebounds over 26 minutes of playing time.

BYU’s bench, despite being even thinner with Shaw’s departure for the starting lineup, scored 16 points. Over the previous three games, the bench had scored a combined six points.

The win improves the Cougars’ record to 20-10 and 11-6 in conference. BYU will finish the regular season at No. 1 Gonzaga this Saturday. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 with tip off set for 8pm MST.

Following Saturday’s game, the Cougars will head to Las Vegas for the WCC tournament which begins on Mar. 2.

Earlier tonight, the BYU women’s basketball team beat Portland 73-60 at the Marriott Center.

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