Monday, January 25, 2021

Cougars tie program 3-point record in 108-59 win over Westminster

BYU Men’s Basketball opened its season with a dominant 108-59 win over Westminster in a game where 14 players played and 13 players scored.

The Cougars hit 18 3-pointers to tie the BYU record for most threes in a game, which they set last season against Loyola Marymount.

“I thought they really shared the ball and tried to pressure in transition the whole night long, which I was really happy about,” BYU head coach Mark Pope said. “I didn’t feel like the ball ever got sticky.”

Senior point guard Alex Barcello led the team with a career-high 25 points, followed by Utah Valley transfer Brandon Averette with 15 in his BYU debut. Kolby Lee had a career-high seven assists and Richard Harward led the Cougars in rebounds with seven.

Averette made his first shot in a BYU uniform early on, opening the game with a three. Lee followed with a floater for an early 5-0 Cougar lead. Connor Harding and Lee each added threes of their own for an 11-2 lead.

Averette swished another three, as did Barcello, and the Cougars went up 20-7 through four minutes.

BYU Photo
Newcomer Gideon George rises up for a 3-pointer. He shot 2-for-3 from beyond the arc against Westminster. (BYU Photo)

Gideon George and Trevin Knell both hit threes as BYU raced out to a 28-12 lead by shooting 7-for-13 from beyond the arc early in the first half.

Three consecutive baskets made by Barcello: a 3-pointer, a backdoor layup, and a pull-up jumper on the break pushed the lead to a then game-high 19 points.

Knell nailed another triple and the Cougars led 45-22 after 16 minutes. Utah Valley transfer Wyatt Lowell then checked in and added a three, stretching the BYU lead to 25, 52-27. BYU led 54-31 at the half, with Barcello scoring a team-high 16 points.

Westminster was plagued by turnovers and missed shots early, but Reme Torbert paced the Griffins with 13 first-half points.

The Cougars shot 43.5% from beyond the arc for 10 made threes. Eight BYU players made 3-pointers in the half, setting a BYU record.

Brandon Averette celebrates during BYU’s 108-59 win over Westminster. Averette had 15 points in his Cougar debut. (BYU Photo)

Averette opened the scoring for BYU in the second half as well with a first possession floater. Layups by Gavin Baxter, Averette and Barcello pushed the lead to 30 at 62-32.

Harding added a layup and a 3-pointer, Caleb Lohner got a breakaway dunk off a steal, and Averette hit a pull-up jumper for a 73-40 BYU lead.

Averette followed that up with anotherd three and then found Baxter for a fast-break dunk. A Baxter lay-in and threes by George, Barcello, Hunter Erickson and Knell put the Cougars up by 50, leading 96-46.

Spencer Johnson got on the board with a two as BYU went on a 15-1 run late in the second half. A Knell layup got the Cougars to the century mark, putting them up 100-49.

Spencer Johnson shoots from behind the arc. He went 2-for-2 from three and scored 10 points in his first game in a BYU uniform. (BYU Photo)

Johnson added a three and a pair of free throws before Jesse Wade hit a long-awaited three-ball to put the Cougars up 108-54.

Westminster’s Jarrett Jordan made a long two at the buzzer, ending the game at 108-59. Jordan (14 points) and Torbert (16 points) led the way for the Griffins.

The Griffins played a 2-3 zone for the majority of the game and the Cougars made Westminster pay, shooting 46.2% from three. Ten Cougars hit from beyond the arc. BYU also shot 57.7% from the field.

The Cougars will be back at the Marriott Center again tomorrow night, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. MST against New Orleans. The game will be televised on BYUtv and broadcast on the BYU Sports Network on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143 and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.

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