PORTLAND — A popular slogan around these parts of the Pacific Northwest is “Keep Portland Weird.”
Well, BYU’s games in recent years at the University of Portland have certainly had some weird — and memorable — moments.
Here’s a rundown of the five previous games between the Cougars and Pilots at the Chiles Center going into Thursday’s matchup:
2013 — BYU was leading by 17 points in the second half when several players, including Cougar guard Brock Zylstra and Pilot guard Tanner Riley, began scrambling for a loose ball. As officials were trying to bring order to the situation, Riley put his arm around Zylstra's neck and threw him to the ground, resulting in Riley’s ejection.
“That kid came after Brock. It was a pretty dirty play, in my opinion," BYU guard Matt Carlino said afterward. "The refs took care of it, so it ended up well Obviously, you want to have your teammates' back. But it's hard to keep your head in that moment.”
2014 — Portland outlasted the Cougars, 114-110, in a zany triple-overtime game that saw Tyler Haws pour in a career-high 48 points. The Pilots’ unheralded backup guard, Bobby Sharp, played like an NBA sharpshooter, hitting eight 3-pointers on his way to a career-high 27 points. Going into Thursday’s contest, Sharp was averaging just seven points per game.
2015 — Haws’ layup with 14:39 left in the first half made him BYU’s all-time leading scorer, supplanting Jimmer Fredette.
The Cougars trailed by eight points at halftime but rallied for an 82-69 victory.
While the first half will be remembered for Haws’ record-breaker, the second half was highlighted by Skyler Halford's role in BYU’s second-half comeback. Halford scored 19 points, including 16 in the second half.
Haws finished with 21 points and gave him 2,614 career points after that game. Fredette finished with 2,599 points.
2016 — Two days after the Cougars shocked No. 25 Gonzaga in Spokane, BYU lost to the lowly Pilots, 84-81. D’Marques Tyson came off the bench to score 21 points. The Pilots dominated BYU in bench scoring 32-9.
2017 — Cougar guard Elijah Bryant poured in a career-high 39 points, and hit seven 3-pointers in a 97-78 victory over Portland. Two days later, BYU upset No. 1 ranked, and undefeated, Gonzaga on the road.
“This game at Portland has always been a fast-paced, well-played game,” coach Dave Rose said this week. “We had a triple overtime game up there. They’re always really competitive. Eli had an unbelievable game (last season).”
GLUE GUYS: The West Coast Conference announced this week The Gorilla Glue Company, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, will be the title sponsor of the Conference’s 2018 WCC Tournament.
The 2018 Gorilla Glue West Coast Conference Basketball Championships will take place March 1-6 at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
SENIOR NIGHT: Portland honored its two seniors Thursday night in its home finale — 7-foot-2 center Philipp Hartwich, from Cologne, Germany and D’Marques Tyson, a 6-foot-5 guard from Bothell, Washington.