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BYU Basketball: Cougars beat Portland to Lock up 3 Seed

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BYU holds off the Pilots to secure the third seed in the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas.

NCAA Basketball: Brigham Young at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

BYU played a really solid overall game to gain a nice win over the Portland Pilots 72-60 on the road. The Cougars were lead by Yoeli Childs 15 points and 13 rebounds along with 15 points and 6 rebounds from Elijah Bryant. Dalton Nixon also chipped in 14 points and TJ Haws had 10, including a timely three pointer at the end of the game.

BYU seemed to have the game in control for most of the night. Childs dominated the first half while BYU took a 14 point lead into half time. The Cougars were able to stretch it out to an 18 point lead due to a technical foul on Portland after the officials seemed to miss a second foul on a three point shooter. Right after that technical, Portland went on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit in half and BYU was never able to stretch it out again.

While the outcome seemed to feel in doubt at times, BYU was able to match any Portland pushes by hitting key buckets by multiple players. The biggest shot of the game may have been a TJ Haws three pointer after Jahshire Hardnett got caught in the air and threw a desperate pass out to Haws from underneath the basket. Haws had actually just checked back in the game after exiting due to an ankle injury and getting caught yelling at students by the TV cameras.

BYU was buoyed by good play down the stretch by players who are not usually counted on to make plays. Nixon hit two three pointers early and made a couple key buckets late and hit some free throws. Luke Worthington (6 points, 5 rebounds) played great defense while replacing Childs who was pulled out of the game with a decent amount of time left in the contest. The BYU bench scored 22 points and helped hold another opponent under 70 points. According to Greg Wrubell, BYU is 18-2 when holding their opponents under 70.

This was a team win without any BYU players really carrying the team offensively and having four players score in double figures. Everyone who played contributed to the win, and this is the way BYU will have to play if they want to move forward in their bid for postseason play.