BYU Men’s Basketball defeats Weber State 87-79 to sweep in-state opponents


BYU Men’s Basketball defeats Weber State 87-79 to sweep in-state opponents

BYU Men’s Basketball finished its non-conference schedule with an 87-79 win over Weber State at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Wednesday to move to 9-2 on the season and 5-0 against Utah opponents. BYU is the first team in a decade to complete the in-state sweep.

“It’s going to be a merry Christmas,” BYU head coach Mark Pope said. “These games are so stressful. I’m thankful to our guys for giving this to us.”

Matt Haarms led BYU with 15 points against the Wildcats to go along with five rebounds and a pair of blocks. Brandon Averette stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals, while Alex Barcello added 12 points and five assists.

Brandon Averette dribbles against Weber State on Dec. 23 at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Averette had 13 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals against the Wildcats. (BYU Photo)

Weber State kept it close early, leading 16-15 at the midway point of the first half, but the Cougars put together an 8-0 run to lead 23-16 with 7:24 to go in the opening period. Lohner led BYU in points with six early in the game after getting several put-backs and lay-ups in the paint.

The Cougars made seven-straight field goals over a stretch late in the first half to extend and maintain the lead. BYU stayed hot, going on another 8-0 run to take its first double-digit lead over Weber State late in the first half. The halftime score was 41-32 in favor of BYU, with Barcello leading the Cougars with seven points on 3-for-3 shooting.

BYU went on a quick 6-0 run to start the second half, taking a 49-39 lead, and giving Barcello 10 points as the first Cougar in double digits. Haarms joined Barcello in double figures at the midway point of the second half with 11 points, as BYU led 64-57.

Richard Harward was the third BYU player in double digits with 11 points to help maintain BYU’s 74-68 lead with five minutes left in the game. Weber State went on a 6-0 run to bring it within five, 81-76 with just over a minute to go, but Caleb Lohner got a put-back to give him 11 points on the night and secure the BYU win.

“We’re a lot more mature than we probably thought we were,” Barcello said after the game. “We’ve still got a lot of room to grow though.”

BYU begins West Coast Conference play on Dec. 31 against Pepperdine on the road.

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