LOS ANGELES (ABC4 Sports) – BYU put on a three-point clinic at Loyola Marymount, making a school-record 18 three-pointers in a 77-54 win over the Lions Thursday night.
Alex Barcello led the way with 18 points, making 6 of 8 shots from beyond the arc, while TJ Haws added 17 points, as the Cougars improved to 20-7 on the season.
“I just went into the game just like I do every game, just trying to make the smartest play,” Barcello said. “My teammates trust me to shoot the ball and they found me some great plays. I had confidence shooting it so I’m just thankful a lot of them went in.”
BYU blew open a close game early in the second half with an 18-2 run to pull away for its fifth straight victory.
“I thought our guys did a great job, especially in the second half,” BYU head coach Mark Pope said. “These guys are trying to make plays for each other and it’s beautiful. We are watching something that’s never happened in the history of BYU and we are really lucky to watch it.”
Yoeli Childs, Jake Toolson and Connor Harding each had nine points, while Zac Seljaas added eight points.
The Cougars made 18 of 40 three-pointers (45%) for the game.
The Lions scored the first two baskets of the game, but a slow offensive start by both teams resulted in an 8-6 LMU lead six minutes into the game. Following a timeout, Toolson buried a 3-pointer to give the Cougars their first lead of the game and a Barcello trey gave BYU a 12-8 advantage with 11:39 on the clock.
Six-straight points returned the lead to the Lions, 14-12. However, Haws and Toolson scored back-to-back buckets from beyond the arc to bring the score to 18-14 with under eight minutes to play in the first half.
Another trey by Haws and three points from the charity stripe gave the Cougars a 29-22 lead. An LMU bucket in the paint slowed the run down, but a 3-point play by Haws sent BYU into the locker room with a 32-24 lead. The Cougars shot 37.0 percent from the field in the first half compared to the Lions’ 52.4 percent.
Once again Loyola Marymount scored the first buckets of the half after hitting a 3-pointer and a layup in the first minute after the break. BYU answered with an 18-2 run that included a pair of Barcello 3-pointers and back-to-back treys by Haws as the Cougars extended their lead to 50-31 with 12:12 remaining in the game, forcing a timeout by the Lions.
Following the timeout, LMU scored a layup but Zac Seljaas went on to score eight-consecutive points – including two 3-pointers – to add to the BYU lead, 58-35.
The Lions went on a 7-0 run before Connor Harding hit a bucket from beyond the arc to quiet the LMU defense. With 5:22 on the clock, Barcello buried his fifth 3-pointer of the night to bring the score to 67-46.
The Cougars closed the game with three more buckets from beyond the arc from three different players, including the record-setting 18th by Evan Troy.
On the game, the Cougars shot 43.1 percent from the field, 47.4 percent from 3 and 64.3 percent from the charity stripe. The Lions recorded 51.1 percent from the field, 20.0 percent from beyond the arc and 60.0 percent from the free-throw line.
“These guys are trying to make plays for each other and it’s beautiful,” Pope said. “We are watching something that’s never happened in the history at BYU and we are really lucky to watch it.”
BYU next plays at San Diego Saturday at 8:00 p.m.