STOCKTON, Calif. (ABC4 Sports) – In its first game in ten days, the BYU basketball team dominated a Pacific team that took the Cougars to double overtime just a few weeks ago.
Freshman Caleb Lohner scored a career-high 19 points to lead BYU to an 80-52 blowout win against Pacific Thursday night.
Lohner made six of his eight field goal attempts, including five of six three-pointers, to lead the team in scoring. The true freshman also added a team-high nine rebounds and a steal to his stat line.
“The best thing Caleb did tonight was his defensive performance,” said BYU head coach Mark Pope. “Caleb was fundamentally sound the entire night defensively, and that’s not easy. He’s a special young man. As he goes through his career, the whole country is going to get to know him. Super proud of him tonight.”
Trevin Knell dropped four 3-pointers of his own to record a career-high 15 points. Alex Barcello and Brandon Averette also reached double figures in scoring, finishing with 15 points and 10 points, respectively. Averette also dished out a team-high seven assists while Barcello led the team with three steals.
BYU (16-5, 7-3 WCC) shot 48.1 percent from both the field and behind the arc, dropping 13 treys on the night. The Cougars outrebounded Pacific (6-7, 3-6 WCC) 31-22 and forced 12 Tiger turnovers.
Matt Haarms and Lohner combined to score the first nine points for BYU, giving the Cougars an early four-point edge. Lohner knocked down his second 3-pointer of the game and junior center Richard Harward scored in the post to increase the lead to 14-7.
After six-straight points by the Tigers brought the score within one point, Harward knocked down a pair of free throws to make the score 16-13 with 12 minutes remaining in the first half. Barcello made a pair of free throws before finding Haarms for a dunk on the pick and roll to maintain the three-point advantage, 22-19.
Knell drained a 3 while drawing a foul and converted from the charity stripe for a rare four-point play. Barcello added three more free throws and sophomore guard Spencer Johnson scored a jumper to give BYU a double-digit lead, 31-20. Knell knocked down another trey while both Barcello and Lohner scored in the closing moments of the first half to enter halftime up 38-26.
The Cougars shot 46.2 percent from the field and made 10 of 11 free throw attempts in the first half. BYU outrebounded Pacific 16-9, including four offensive boards.
Averette scored a pair of baskets from behind the arc at the start of the second period. Barcello tallied three more free throws before draining a 3-pointer of his own to increase the lead to 50-33.
A driving floater by Knell and back-to-back 3s by Lohner stretched the Cougars’ advantage to 23 points, 58-35. Lohner scored again from deep, his fifth 3-pointer of the night, and junior forward Gideon George made a layup to make the score 63-40.
BYU continued its 3-point barrage as Knell scored consecutive treys and junior forward Kolby Lee drained a shot from behind the arc. The Cougars continued to cruise down the stretch on their way to an 80-52 victory.
The Cougars next play at Loyola Marymount Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.