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Alex Barcello - BYU Basketball
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Three Observations From BYU Hoops First Home Win in 2021

BYU Guard Alex Barcello celebrates with teammates against Portland (Courtesy of BYU Photo).

PROVO, Utah – The BYU Cougars exploded offensively in the second half to defeat the Portland Pilots 95-67.

BYU scored 58 second half points shooting 65 percent from the field.

It wasn’t pretty in the first half for BYU with the Cougars only leading by six at the break, but the Cougars dominated in the second half outscoring the Pilots by 22.

This marks the first win at the Marriott Center in 2021. It had been 31 days since they last played a game in Provo.

Here are my three observations from the Cougars third consecutive WCC victory.

1. Matt Haarms shot blocking

Haarms has been battling through a knee injury. He’s worn a sleeve on his knee for the past several games.

You wouldn’t know he was fighting through an injury after having his best performance of the season.

He was dominant on both sides of the floor.

Haarms has been exceptional as a shot blocker all year long. He had three blocks tonight.

The transfer from Purdue has blocked two or more shots in four of his last five games.

Offensively, Haarms led the team in scoring with 23 points. That’s a season high. His previous high was 18 against Boise State.

He was perfect from the field making all nine of his field goal attempts.

Haarms is becoming more comfortable in this offense, which is an exciting thing for BYU come March.

2. Ball Movement

The Cougars did an excellent job passing the rock against the Pilots. They had blank 28 assists, which is a season high.

The ball wasn’t sticky tonight like it was in the past three games.

One of the best passes of the night came from Connor Harding. He drove baseline and found Richard Harward cutting down the lane for a slam dunk.

I know it’s only Portland, but tonight in the second half was BYU basketball at it’s best.

3. Connor Harding off the bench

Trevin Knell started his third consecutive game, meaning Connor Harding remained on the bench after starting for much of the season.

Credit Harding for staying ready after losing his starting spot. He provided BYU with a nice punch off the bench making three of his five long distance shots.

He added four rebounds as well.

BYU needs guys like Harding to make shots like he did tonight. When they do, they can compete with anybody in the country.

You can hear Matt Baiamonte every Saturday on KSL Newsradio for Cougar Sports Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. or you can find him on Twitter here.

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