BYU basketball: Cougars angered by Portland's 'dirty play'
Portland, Ore. • Portland fell to 0-8 all-time against BYU with Saturday's 85-67 loss at the Chiles Center, but some rough tactics by Pilots reserve guard Tanner Riley in the second half that left the junior from North Bend, Wash., hitting the showers early ensured the Cougars won't overlook the West Coast Conference team when it visits the Marriott Center on Feb. 16.
Riley was ejected after wrapping an arm around BYU senior guard Brock Zylstra and throwing him to the ground with 14 minutes remaining in the game. Referees reviewed the play on courtside monitors before throwing out Riley, who had entered the game for the first time just seconds earlier and drilled a 3-pointer.
"I am not sure what I am supposed to say about it, but that kid [Riley] came after Brock and it was a pretty dirty play," said BYU point guard Matt Carlino, who led all scorers with 24 points. "I think the refs took care of it, so it was good."
Riley's takedown happened after players from both teams fought for a loose ball near center court. Order was seemingly restored after some jawing and the like, but then Riley lost control again.
BYU coach Dave Rose and Portland coach Eric Reveno came onto the floor to control their players and diffuse the situation, which could have turned uglier.
"I thought our coaches did a good job keeping it [under control]," said Rose, who called the situation unfortunate. "The last thing you want to do is have that turn into something bigger than it was."
The Cougars (16-6, 6-2 WCC) said the rough play made them angry, but they went nearly six more minutes without making a field goal until Craig Cusick's 3-pointer with 8:19 remaining made it 66-46.
"I am saying I tried to stay out of it, but it got me a little fired up," said BYU's Brandon Davies, who had a double-double with 11 rebounds and 20 points. "I was just trying to get Brock out of there as soon as possible. It just looked like he needed some help. As a teammate, you see one of your teammates in trouble, you are going to rush in there."
For BYU, more drama came after Davies' spectacular putback dunk he said it pales it comparison to a few this year by Josh Sharp with 7:03 remaining. Davies tweaked his ankle and left the game for a while, but he returned.
"I think I played a lot better than I have," he said. "I continue to play better as my ankle gets better. Unfortunately, I got a little tweak. But it wasn't as bad [as before], and I was able to get back in there. So that was a good sign."