Averette goes for career-high 30 points in win over Texas Southern
BYU Men’s Basketball got its third win in a row and moved to 8-2 with a 87-71 win over Texas Southern on Monday, fueled by a career-high 30 points from Brandon Averette.
“I just kept shooting the ball and trusted the work I put in every day,” Averette said after the game. “I think (this game) shows our maturity and our willingness to fight every night no matter who we’re playing.”
Averette went 6-for-13 from three and hit multiple crucial shots from deep to stop an attempt from TSU to come back in the second half. Alex Barcello had a double-double against the Tigers with 10 points and a career-high 10 assists. Matt Haarms and Richard Harward were the other Cougars in double digits with 16 and 13 points, respectively.
BYU jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but TSU brought it back within three at 12-9. The Cougars then hit a pair of 3-pointers to extend the lead to seven, 18-11, after five minutes of play. BYU made its third triple in five attempts to take its first double-digit lead, 21-11.
The Cougars stayed hot from deep, going 4-for-6 to maintain the double-digit lead at the midway point of the first half. BYU had to go without its starting big men late in the first half as Haarms went out with an ankle injury and Lee got his third foul. Haarms returned soon after for the Cougars.
Both teams went through scoring droughts in the final minutes before the half, as the Cougars’ shooting percentages came down a bit following a hot start. Haarms broke the cold spell for BYU and became the first Cougar in double digits with 10 points late in the first half. He led all scorers with 12 points at the break, helping BYU to a 42-32 lead heading into the locker room.
Despite having a substantial size advantage in the paint, BYU was out-rebounded 22-16 in the first half. The 3-point shooting was the difference in the first half, with BYU going 5-for-14 from deep for 35% compared to 1-for-6 for 16% for TSU.
BYU came out of the gates strong in the second half as Averette and Barcello joined Haarms in double digits with 10 points apiece. The Cougars went on a 10-2 run to take a 52-34 lead four minutes into the second period. BYU led by 20, 55-35, soon after on an and-one play from Harward.
Harward continued his strong play in the paint for BYU, becoming the fourth Cougar in double digits when he reached 11 points in the second half. The Tigers brought it within single digits late in the second half, but Averette went on a quick 5-0 run on his own to put BYU back up by 14, 74-60, with under five minutes to go.
Averette tied his career-high of 23 points with a layup around the four-minute mark of the second half, then set a new personal best with 26 on a 3-pointer with under three minutes remaining. He added four more points before the night was over and BYU closed it out, 87-71.
“It’s been really fun to watch and he was spectacular again tonight,” head coach Mark Pope said of Averette’s performance after the game.
BYU closes out non-conference play against Weber State on Wednesday, Dec. 23 at Vivint Smart Home Arena at 5 p.m. MST. The game will be broadcast on BYUtv.