PROVO — It was a bittersweet Senior Day for BYU senior Noah Hartsock for more than just the usual reasons.
For his final game at the Marriott Center, Hartsock did not play due to a knee injury. As is his nature, Hartsock made the best of it, cheering on his teammates in the Cougars' 76-66 victory over Portland.
Prior to the game, he and fellow senior Charles Abouo were honored as part of the festivities and they received their traditional Senior Blankets.
Hartsock, flanked by his wife, Kendalyn, a Cougar volleyball player, and his parents, shed some tears.
"It was tough watching this game thinking about the ways that I could have contributed, but I'm feeling pretty good and I'm confident I'll be able to go again (in next week's West Coast Conference Tournament)," Hartsock said. "I played a lot of games here and had a lot of fun. I've had a lot of great experiences."
Guard Brock Zylstra said both Hartsock and Abouo have left a lasting legacy.
"They have had a huge impact on BYU basketball. It's sad to see them go, but when you think about everything they've done, it's a proud moment for them, it's a proud moment for us as teammates."
Abouo, who scored 16 points Saturday, has now won 111 games in his Cougar career, trailing the all-time leader, Jimmer Fredette, by one.
Hartsock was the first signee for coach Dave Rose after he became the head coach in 2005.
"Noah signed here before we had even coached a game," Rose said. "He put a lot of faith in us and what we thought we could do here. With him coming here and playing the way he's played, we've been able to do a lot of good things."
While Hartsock's career at BYU winds down, there is another Hartsock in the Cougars' future. Hartsock's younger brother, Jakob, verbally committed to BYU on Friday.
JIMMER'S BACK: Sacramento Kings rookie, and last year's national consensus player of the year, Jimmer Fredette was in attendance Saturday, and sat behind the BYU bench. It also happened to be his 23rd birthday.
At halftime, Fredette, who is in town during the All-Star break, honored the senior cheerleaders, which includes his fiancée, Whitney Wonnacott.
While addressing the fans, Fredette urged them to go to promo.espn.go.com/espn/contests/infiniti/2012/ and vote for coach Dave Rose and his charity so he can raise money for the fight against cancer.
While BYU sported pink shoes in honor of Coaches vs. Cancer, Jimmer wore pink socks.
NOTES: Forward Stephen Rogers did not dress for Saturday's game due to his lingering knee injury. … Guard Matt Carlino dished a game-high eight assists. … Abouo had eight rebounds. … Forward Brandon Davies scored a game-high 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the floor.
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