BYU Cruises To Blowout Victory Over Portland Behind Jake Toolson’s Hot Shooting

Feb 6, 2020, 11:16 PM | Updated: 11:37 pm

PORTLAND, Oregon – Entering Thursday night’s game against the WCC’s last-place team in the Portland Pilots, it was a game-time decision as to whether or not Jake Toolson would play. Toolson had been recovering from an ankle sprain he suffered in last Saturday’s win over Saint Mary’s.

But Toolson ended up playing against the Pilots and to take a word from Mark Pope to summarize Toolson’s performance, he was extraordinary.

BYU defeated Portland 85-54 in the Chilles Center and Toolson with an injured ankle scored a game-high 22 points and shot 80 percent from the field and was 6-8 from three-point range.

“This cat is a freak man, this Jake Toolson,” said BYU coach Mark Pope on KSL NewsRadio. “He is a certifiable 100 percent, no doubt, pure as can be freak of a shooter. His leadership is off the charts right now. It’s fun, man. I was so happy all these people were in the gym tonight so they could watch it. What these guys are doing right now is really special.”

Yoeli Childs tied Toolson for a game-high of 22 points and guard Alex Barcello had probably his best offensive performance in WCC play with 17 points on 3-5 from deep.

Last week, Mark Pope made a plea to his team to play better on the defensive end. Pope’s team has answered the bell last week and on Thursday against the Pilots. BYU held Portland to 28 percent shooting and putting the clamp down on the Pilots in the second half holding Terry Porter’s squad to only 23 points in the second half.

With the win, BYU moves to 18-7 overall and 7-3 in the WCC.

Gavin Baxter nearly made his season debut

Sophomore forward Gavin Baxter suffered a shoulder injury back in October and was believed to potentially be out for the entire season. Baxter received feedback from multiple doctors while he was sidelined to find a way to get back to the court. He was cleared by team doctors on Monday and was back to practice on Tuesday in a non-contact setting.

Baxter participated in the shootaround at the Chilles Center on Thursday and dressed for the game against Portland. With BYU up by 30 points and three minutes remaining, Baxter headed to the scorer’s table looking ready to appear in his first game of the season.

Moments after going to the scorer’s table, Mark Pope waived Baxter back and had Taylor Maughan check into the game instead. It’s a possibility that Baxter could make his season debut on Saturday against USF at the Marriott Center.

Stats of the Night

20: BYU had 20 free throw attempts in the win over Portland. Yoeli Childs account for half of those attempts. Despite a slow start in the first half from the Karl Malone Award candidate, Childs was attacking the hoop and finding a way to get to the line.

21: Hasn’t happened often where BYU outrebounded their opposition this season, let alone by 21 rebounds. BYU handled the outmatched Pilots in the paint.

8: In his first game as a father, TJ Haws dished out eight assists and received praised for his excellent play on the defensive end in the win.

Up Next

BYU looks to get revenge against the San Francisco Dons at the Marriott Center on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. (MST) on BYUtv and KSL NewsRadio.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Cruises To Blowout Victory Over Portland Behind Jake Toolson’s Hot Shooting