Alex Barcello poured in 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists, and Richard Harward added 11 points and 10 rebounds off the bench to help BYU pull away from New Orleans, 86-61 to secure a 2-0 start Thursday night in the Marriott Center.
By most accounts, BYU football was the biggest loser Tuesday night when the College Football Playoff selection committee emerged from its in-person meetings in a hotel conference room in Texas during a global pandemic and released its initial top 25 teams in the country.
The eighth-ranked Cougars have one game remaining on their 2020 schedule, the Dec. 12 season finale against San Diego State, but athletic director Tom Holmoe has said he is open to adding more games during BYU's most successful season since 2001.
Takitaki had had his first career pick-six, scoring the Browns' first touchdown on a 50-yard interception return to spark Cleveland's 22-17 win over the Eagles in cold, wet weather to improve to 7-3 on the year.
Hill completed 18-of-23 passes for 233 yards and added a game-high 51 yards and two touchdowns to help the Saints win their seventh-straight game with a 24-9 victory over divisional rival Atlanta on Sunday afternoon in New Orleans.
BYU held steady in a largely unchanged week in the latest edition of the Coaches Poll and AP Top 25 after a 66-14 win over FCS North Alabama on Saturday afternoon, keeping their top-10 status after completing all but one game of their currently scheduled 2020 season — and with a three-week break before the regular-season finale Dec. 12 against San Diego State.