Due partly to schedule interruptions associated to COVID-19 involving different groups, it had been two weeks since BYU had received a sport and it had been 10 days because the Cougars had performed a sport.
Many questioned how BYU would carry out on the street Thursday night time on the Spanos Center.
Well, let’s simply say the Cougars didn’t should squeak previous Pacific like they did again on Jan. 30 in Provo in a double-overtime win.
This time, freshman ahead Caleb Lohner fell only one rebound shy of a double-double, scoring a career-high 19 factors and flattening 9 boards, as BYU pulverized the Tigers 80-52.
After falling by 11 factors at residence towards No. 1 Gonzaga on Feb. 8, the Cougars spent their extended layoff attempting to wash up their shortcomings, which have been uncovered by the Zags. And they seemed forward to extra profitable outings.
“This is precisely what I envisioned. These final 10 days of not enjoying, we’ve been working so onerous,” Lohner advised the BYU Radio Network. “A number of groups within the nation proper now aren’t practising as onerous. There’s all these huge gaps of not enjoying video games. I feel we actually took benefit of that point. We simply received higher. I feel it confirmed on the courtroom tonight from all the pieces — our offense, our protection, rebounding the ball, being in the correct spots, making the easy play. I’m actually pleased with this crew tonight.”
Lohner knocked down 6 of 8 photographs from the ground, together with 5 of 6 from 3-point territory.
The 6-foot-8, 230-pound Dallas native began the season lacking his first 11 3-pointers. Thursday, he seemed a bit of like Jake Toolson or TJ Haws from the 3-point line.
“He’s a particular younger man. As he goes by his profession, the entire nation goes to get to know him,” coach Mark Pope advised the CBS Sports Network about Lohner. “He’s clearly spectacular on the courtroom. He’s studying and rising and so keen each single day. As a human being off the courtroom, he’s truly 10 occasions extra fascinating. I’m tremendous pleased with him tonight. We’ve been anticipating that he would make a soar right here in direction of the tip of the season and he’s actually doing that.”
As a crew, the Cougars hit 13 of 27 3-pointers. Trevin Knell got here off the bench to make 4 of 6 3-pointers and he completed with 15 factors. Curiously, BYU shot 13 of 27 from 2-point vary and 13 of 27 from 3-point territory.
“Trevin was wonderful tonight. He got here in a bit of earlier within the rotation than regular due to (Gideon George’s) foul bother and he responded rather well,” Pope stated. “I like Trev when he has a chip on his shoulder. That’s when he performs at his finest.”
During one stretch halfway by the second half, Lohner drilled three 3-pointers in a row, stretching BYU’s lead from 52-35 to 61-36.
Lohner’s solely discipline aim of the night time that wasn’t a 3-pointer got here with 13 seconds left within the first half. He was sprinting down the ground on a quick break when guard Brandon Averette tossed him an alley-oop that Lohner summarily hammered residence to present the Cougars a 38-24 benefit.
“That play in transition was superior,” Pope stated. “His athleticism is extraordinary. We see his athleticism time and again. He got here up with a few unimaginable offensive rebounds that you just simply don’t see at any degree in school basketball.”
In the earlier matchup towards Pacific, with the sport tied at 64-apiece, Lohner missed two free throws with 3.2 seconds remaining in regulation. Not lengthy after that sport ended, he stayed on the Marriott Center, spending appreciable time engaged on his free-throw taking pictures.
It’s a part of Lohner’s spectacular work ethic.
“He works so onerous. He’s getting up numerous photographs earlier than and after follow. He’s within the movie room every single day individually attempting to study,” Pope stated. “You’ve received to maintain placing it inside you till it turns into one thing over time that’s second nature. He had some second nature moments tonight. It was superior. … He gave you a bit of sense of who he will be. He’s fairly particular.”
In Pacific’s loss to Loyola Marymount final Saturday, Jeremiah Bailey scored a career-high 28 factors. Against BYU, he was held scoreless on 0 of 6 taking pictures.
“He’s a particular younger man. As he goes by his profession, the entire nation goes to get to know him.” — BYU coach Mark Pope on Caleb Lohner
“The smartest thing (Lohner) did tonight was his defensive efficiency,” Pope stated. “We talked about Jeremiah Bailey the entire final week. He’s placed on a present the final two video games. He’s been on fireplace. Caleb was essentially sound defensively the complete night time. That’s not simple.”
“We have been fairly aware (of Bailey),” Lohner stated. “That was a scorching subject coming into this week’s follow and determining methods to cease him as a result of he’s been rolling. We did an ideal job of that as a crew.”
With the win, BYU improved to 16-5 general and 7-3 in West Coast Conference play. Pacific dropped to 6-7 and 3-6.
Pope stated the important thing to the win was the best way Averette and Alex Barcello orchestrated the offense. They mixed to dish out 12 assists and so they had solely two turnovers. Barcello ended up with 15 factors, 5 assists and three steals whereas Averette added 10 factors and 7 assists.
Matt Haarms scored eight factors, grabbed seven rebounds and set the tone early within the opening minutes of the competition.
“Matt Haarms was unimaginable tonight,” Pope stated. “His minutes have been unbelievable. His physicality was off the charts to start out the sport.”
More than something, Pope liked to see the power and aggressiveness in his crew after it endured a protracted interval of not enjoying video games.
“I’m so extremely proud. What they’ve completed the final 10 days has been actually onerous,” he stated. “There’s been an enormous emphasis on three key areas the place we felt we have been falling quick — physicality, communication and defending the ball. The guys excelled in all three of these areas tonight towards a extremely good crew.”
“I’m pleased with how we responded after that huge hole of video games,” Lohner stated. “We began out and the entire sport we saved coming at them. There wasn’t a break. I’m actually pleased with how we got here out after not enjoying for some time.”
BYU visits Loyola Marymount Saturday.