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BYU Rides Defense in Home Win Over Pepperdine

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at Brigham Young Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Things got a little dicey late, but BYU closed strong in the final minutes in a 65-54 home win over Pepperdine. BYU had three guys score in double figures, led by 15 points from Brandon Averette and 12 points from Trevin Knell. Averette had 13 of his points in the first half and Knell had all 12 of points from beyond the arc. BYU got up by as much as 16 in the first half, but Pepperdine closed within 3 points with under 3 minutes to go before BYU closed on an 8-0 run.

BYU shot only 38% from the field, but they held the Waves to 29% shooting and won the rebound battle 48-39. Pepperdine’s leading scorer Kessler Edwards had only 11 points after scoring 37 points Thursday versus Pacific. Alex Barcello shot 0-7 from the field and had 4 points and Matt Haarms had only 6 points, but BYU was able to offset off nights from their leading scorers with stingy defense and enough contributions from other guys.

BYU is now 13-3 on the season and second place in the WCC at 4-1. The Cougars are in a fairly comfortable spot for the NCAA Tournament at the moment, but they need to continue to pile up to wins to feel safe.

BYU’s next game will once again be versus Pepperdine when the travel to Malibu for a Wednesday matinee.