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Big Second Half Gives BYU Blowout Victory Over Saint Mary’s On Senior Night

Matt Haarms celebrates a defensive stop against Saint Mary's Gaels on February 27th, 2021. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball closed out the 2020-21 regular season on Saturday night in style with a victory over WCC rival Saint Mary’s. The final score was 65-51, led by a huge second half where BYU put up 42 points on the stingy Gaels defense.

BYU now prepares for the West Coast Conference Tournament next week in Las Vegas. The Cougars secured the No. 2 seed where they will play in the tournament’s semifinals on Monday, March 8th at 10 p.m. (MT) on ESPN2.

BYU pulls away in the 2nd Half

BYU 65, Saint Mary’s 51 (FINAL): BYU gave their seniors a proper curtain call on their final game as BYU Cougars. BYU gets their first regular-season sweep over Saint Mary’s since 2014.

BYU 60, Saint Mary’s 46 (3:16): Matt Haarms on senior night passed the 1,000-point career scoring total in his collegiate career.

Haarms pulled it off on an and-one opportunity that led to him letting out a scream and soaking in the atmosphere in the Marriott Center.

BYU 48, Saint Mary’s 32 (7:50): This shall be known as the Trevin Knell game. Knell has a career-high 15 points. He has been clutch on both ends of the floor to build a 16-point lead for BYU.

Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett was getting a bit flustered after an offensive foul called on SMC’s Bowen. Bennett held onto the ball for a little bit longer than he needed. BYU’s Knell has broken the stingy play of the Gaels.

BYU 39, Saint Mary’s 32 (11:33): Huge sequence took place with Saint Mary’s coming up empty-handed on two possessions that saw the Gaels get multiple looks at the basket. BYU’s Trevin Knell then buried a corner three to give BYU a game-high nine-point lead.

Matt Haarms continues to make his presence felt on the defensive end. Haarms’ blocks are forcing SMC to think twice when getting around the 7-foot-3 big man.

BYU 34, Saint Mary’s 30 (15:22): What a role reversal early in the second half. Both teams came out firing on the offensive end.

After an entire first half where BYU’s trio of seniors struggled from the offensive end, Brandon Averette got things going for BYU after a quick five points.

Matt Haarms and Alex Barcello then got in the scoring act as well.

Halftime Observations

 

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Grinder in the 1st Half of BYU/Saint Mary’s

BYU 23, Saint Mary’s 18 (HALF): Trevin Knell with a nice first half. He dished out an assist on a backdoor cut by Connor Harding to give BYU their only field goal in the final five minutes of the first half.

BYU 18, Saint Mary’s 16 (3:41): This is a slugfest. Alex Barcello picked up his second personal foul. Gaels forward, Logan Johnson is leading the way for Saint Mary’s. Johnson has nine points.

This game isn’t pretty. Both teams missed a pair of front ends to highlight nothing will come easy in this game.

BYU 14, Saint Mary’s 12 (7:33): Matt Haarms is a special talent for blocking shots. He showed off his athleticism on a help defense block on Tommy Kuhse. Haarms has two blocks and four rebounds already.

Speaking of Kuhse, the Gales guard picked up two fouls at the 10-minute mark. Officials then started to call a lot of fouls on the Gaels. BYU entered the bonus after nine team fouls on SMC.

BYU 9, Saint Mary’s 8 (11:51): The Gaels are the third slowest team in terms of temp in college basketball. Saint Mary’s is controlling the tempo thus far. No BYU starter has scored any points yet. All nine of BYU’s points have come from players off the bench (Knell, Connor Harding).

Saint Mary’s is already in the bonus after BYU was called for their 7th team foul at the 12:53 mark. Only two fouls called so far on the Gaels.

BYU 6, Saint Mary’s 3 (15:28): Senior nights are always tricky to navigate. Emotions are high, and it doesn’t get any easier facing a Saint Mary’s team with a style of play that doesn’t make things easier.

One of BYU’s three seniors, Brandon Averette, picked up two quick fouls leading to Trevin Knell coming into the game. It was needed as Knell was the only scorer, as he knocked down two three-pointers.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app.

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