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BYU’s Alex Barcello Shines As Cougars Roll To Victory In Crosstown Clash

Alex Barcello led BYU with 20 points in a win over Utah Valley on November 28, 2020. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball brought out black uniforms that they had not worn since 2016. Utah Valley probably liked the sound of that because, in 2016, the Wolverines took down BYU in the Marriott Center. But that was with Mark Pope as the Wolverines bench.

Now on BYU’s bench, Pope going up against his old employer for the first time, there wasn’t a repeat of 2016 in the UCCU Crosstown Clash.

In a game with high emotion with the Cougars taking UVU’s head coach and best players in recent years, BYU answered the call to defeat Utah Valley 82-60. The win gives BYU its third straight in the series with the Wolverines.

Tough in the early going for BYU against UVU

However, early in the game, there were some 2016 vibes as the Wolverines built a 10-point lead through the first nine minutes of the game. UNLV transfer Trey Woodbury led the way for Mark Madsen’s squad, scoring 15 of his game-high 24 points.

Alex Barcello becoming BYU’s clutch shooter

BYU closed the first half on a 25-4 run to create separation from the upset-minded Wolverines. The run was capped off by a buzzer-beater three from senior guard Alex Barcello. Barcello is quickly emerging as the go-to guy for BYU when the Cougars need a clutch bucket.

Barcello ended the night with 20 points, seven rebounds, and three assists.

Matt Haarms debut with BYU basketball

BYU started to take over in the second half building up a 22-point lead. Before the under-12 media timeout, the talent of Purdue transfer Matt Haarms started to show itself in BYU’s lineup.

Haarms made his BYU debut on Saturday night. He missed the first two games of the season after suffering an ankle injury in practice. Haarms scored a pair of baby hook shots, one of which he pointed to Kolby Lee (the man known for ‘quickie’ hooks) to give him his props; he drew an offensive foul and pulled down a rebound in the stretch. The 7-foot-3 big man played 12 minutes ending the night with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field.

Utah Valley made BYU work for the entire 40 minutes

Utah Valley didn’t go down lightly, making BYU work for the entire 40 minutes. The Wolverines cut BYU’s 22-point lead down to ten with 4:46 remaining in the game after seven consecutive points from UVU’s Jamison Overton.

Pope turned to BYU’s trio of seniors in Barcello, Haarms, and UVU transfer Brandon Averette to close out the game. BYU built their lead back up to 17 points and didn’t look back from there to claim their third consecutive win in the series.

BYU ended the night shooting 53 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the arc to UVU’s 37 and 36 percent. The win moves BYU to 3-0 on the season with a matchup against USC this Tuesday in the Legends Classic at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut coming up next.

For Utah Valley, the Wolverines drop to 1-1 and will next be in action on Wednesday when they host Westminster.

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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