Los Angeles • A 3-pointer in the final seconds from Evan Troy not only sealed BYU’s win over Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles on Thursday night, 77-54, but it gave the Cougars a new program record for most 3-pointers made in a single game.
The Cougars nailed 18 of their long shots after starting the night 1 for 8 from the arc.
“This team, we share the ball so well,” senior TJ Haws said. “We take open shots, we take good shots. I’m just proud to be on this team. I’m proud of our guys and the way we fought tonight. Our unselfishness and the way we share the ball — it’s fantastic.”
However, for the first time in 10 games, BYU was held under 50% shooting from the field. Still, the Cougars have now won their last five games and improved to 20-7 on the season and 9-3 in West Coast Conference play.
Coach Mark Pope wasn't too concerned about not shooting better than 50% Thursday night.
“What we use as our market is, do we own shots or are we working hard to get good shots for each other,” Pope said. “I felt like in the first half, we didn’t do that so much. We were pretty stagnant. … Then the second half, the guys did a really nice job of being aggressive for each other and making plays for each other. It was better.”
BYU got off to a slow start, missing its first five shots while allowing LMU to get off to a 4-0 start. But BYU finally got on the board after Kolby Lee secured an offensive rebound and was able to score from the paint.
After the Lions held onto their early-game lead for the first six minutes, BYU broke out on an 8-0 run — thanks in part to 3-pointers from Jake Toolson and Alex Barcello. LMU responded with it’s own 6-0 run, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Haws and Toolson gave BYU the lead back — and this time the Cougars didn’t give it back.
Toward the end of the first half, LMU once again went on a 6-0 run to cut its deficit to 1, but the Cougars out-shot the Lions 9-2 to go into halftime up 32-24.
BYU was held to 35% shooting from the field and 36% shooting from the 3 in the first half, while allowing LMU to shoot 63% from the field. The Lions’ downfall in the first half, however, was their shooting from beyond the arc — LMU missed all four of its 3-point attempts.
The Lions started the second half with their first made 3-pointer of the game and were looking to chip away at BYU’s lead, but then the Cougars went on an 18-2 run over the next six minutes, while also forcing four LMU turnovers, for a 50-31 advantage.
Down 58-37, LMU put together a 7-0 run later in the second half, but a 3-pointer from Connor Harding put an end to it.
Barcello led the Cougars with 18 points on 6-of 8-shooting — all from beyond the arc. Haws was close behind, adding 17 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field and three Cougars — Yoeli Childs, Toolson and Harding — each scored nine points.
“I was just trying to let the game come to me and make the smartest play and my teammates found me in the right spots,” Barcello said. “I mean, they trust me to shoot, so I was just letting it go and thankfully a lot of them went in.”
The Cougars continue their two-game road trip with a visit to San Diego on Saturday.