BYU COUGARS

Barcello Knocks Down Corner Three To Lift BYU Over Utah State

Dec 14, 2019, 9:05 PM | Updated: 11:48 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – BYU basketball is working to have the best locker room in America with everyone contributing. Unlikely sources delivered when BYU needed it the most and no moment was bigger than point guard Alex Barcello knocking down a corner three.

With 27 seconds left in regulation, Barcello, who had only made two field goals on the night knocked down a huge shot to put BYU up by three. Officials then reviewed the shot and ruled it a three-pointer to give BYU a four-point lead and ultimately the win.

“Unbelievable,” said Barcello on the moment he hit the corner three. “I didn’t start off the game too hot but I love my guys and I love my team and coaching staff. They pick me up and they told me to just trust it and they believe in me and they knew my shot was eventually going to fall. No guy came out on me so I just shot the shot knowing that my teammates believe in me and it went in. Luckily we won the game and we’re so happy [about] it.”

Did Barcello think his feet were on the line after he made that shot?

“I looked down to make sure it wasn’t, just in case it went in. It was a three for sure.”

The victory puts BYU at 9-4 on the season and gives the Cougars a Tier A KenPom win and a projected quadrant one victory for its NCAA Tournament resume.

“Everybody on this team is sacrificing for each other, everyone is sacrificing for each other,” said BYU coach Mark Pope. “This Alex Barcello, I never give him a play call. He’s really probably more of a point, he’s playing off the ball and I’m giving him no love and just time after time he comes up with game-winning plays for us.

BYU’s offense came through in the end, but the Cougars’ defense can’t be ignored. BYU held the Aggies to 29 percent from three-point range. Mountain West Conference Player of the Year Sam Merrill was held to 11 points and only shot 20 percent from the field after playing the entire 40 minutes for the Aggies.

“That Utah State is a great team,” said Pope. “This Craig Smith, I’ve said it for the last week, I think he’s amazing with what he’s done in his short tenure there. It’s just incredible. He’s got guys that play hard and have a huge IQ, and have a ton of heart. It’s a great team. So I couldn’t be more proud of our guys for fighting the whole time and getting through some adversity and some stickiness and some weirdness and getting the win.”

Yoeli Childs led all scorers with 20 points followed by senior guard TJ Haws with 16.

Saturday night’s win is BYU’s eighth straight victory over Utah State and 11th win in the last 13 meetings. BYU also extends their winning streak at the Vivint Smart Home Arena to 15 games.

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 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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