Portland, Ore. • The BYU Cougars regained their confidence, mixed in a little extra effort, and rediscovered their moxie Thursday night in a convincing home basketball win over No. 24 Gonzaga.
Now they head to the Great Northwest, hoping to find that missing ingredient that could put them back into the good graces of the NCAA Basketball Tournament Selection Committee: their 3-point shooting touch.
BYU takes on the Portland Pilots — suddenly a threat after giving Gonzaga a nice tussle and winning their first road game of the season, Thursday at Santa Clara — on Saturday night at Chiles Center (8 p.m. MST, BYUtv).
Having gone 3 for 12 from 3-point range against the Zags — hey, they made two of their last three — the Cougars are now 14 of 85 from beyond the arc in their last five games. But coach Dave Rose said he’s not overly concerned.
“The averages all work out,” Rose said. “ wish every 3-point shot that we shot would go in. OK? That’s what I wish. I have confidence that these guys are going to make them. And that’s how we play. We will fight through this. I think that the fact that we are not shooting our best in this little stretch, and we are continuing to win games, tells a lot about the competitive spirit of this group.”
After Saturday, the Cougars (19-6, 7-3 WCC) will have played every team in the league. They are 5-0 all-time against Portland, with the last three wins coming by 15 points or more since 2006.
BYU at Portland
P At Chiles Center (Portland, Ore.)
Tipoff • Saturday, 8 p.m.
TV • BYUtv
Radio • 1160 AM, 102.7 FM
Records • BYU 19-6, 7-3; Portland 6-17, 3-7
Series • BYU leads 5-0
Last meeting • BYU, 91-76 (Dec. 13, 2008)
About the Cougars • After Saturday’s game, they don’t play again until next Saturday, at home against Pepperdine. … In Thursday’s 83-73 win over Gonzaga, Brandon Davies (15 points) scored in double figures for the 13th straight game and 20th time this season. … Noah Hartsock recorded his third double-double of the season with 24 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.
About the Pilots • They are coming off an 84-78 win at Santa Clara, their first road win, and the most points they’ve scored in a game this season. … Sophomore forward Ryan Nicholas scored a game-high 19 points in the win, and sophomore guard Tim Douglas added 16 off the bench. … They are averaging 2,865 fans per game at the 4,852-seat Chiles Center.