Three Observations From BYU Basketball’s Home Loss Against Boise State

Dec 9, 2020, 9:34 PM | Updated: 10:08 pm
Richard Harward - BYU Basketball...
Richard Harward makes a jump shot against Boise State (Courtesy of BYU Photo)
(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – The BYU Cougars mounted a second-half comeback against Boise State that just fell short.

Alex Barcello tied the game at 70 with a layup, but Boise State guard Emmanuel Akot drilled a three-pointer to close the door on BYU.

Takeaways from BYU/Boise State Basketball 

The Broncos made a free throw late, beating the Cougars 74-70.

Alex Barcello was outstanding after going scoreless in the first 19 minutes of the game. He finished with 22 points. He missed what would have been a game-tying three-pointer with three seconds left on the clock.

Turnovers were a big reason the offense sputtered in the first half. BYU turned the ball over 11 times while only making seven field goals.

Credit to the Cougars for making a second-half comeback. There is no quit in this team, but they need to be sharper for 40 minutes to beat the good teams on their schedule.

Here are my three observations for the first home loss of the season.

1. Alex Barcello scoring

BYU needs Alex Barcello to score the basketball. It’s not ideal to rely on one player to generate so much offense, but that’s the current situation.

The Cougars were undefeated when he scored at least 10 points before losing to the Broncos.

Without his personal 5-0 run to end the half, things would have looked really bleak for BYU. Instead, they only trailed by nine points while shooting 33 percent from the field.

Barcello continued to keep the Cougars within striking distance in the second half, scoring 17 points. He missed his final shot of the game, but that shouldn’t overshadow his performance.

Head Coach Mark Pope will need to find another consistent scorer for this team to make a tournament run.

2. Spencer Johnson off the bench

Johnson bust onto the scene up in Logan and continued his stellar play against Boise State. His scoring early in the second half helped take the lid off the rim for the Cougars.

He scored 10 points while making two long-distance shots to help BYU score 49 second-half points.

His defense and energy are noticeable. If he can continue to make three-point shots, he’ll remain in the rotation.

3. Big Rich

Richard Harward, a transfer center from Utah Valley University, had his best game as a BYU Cougar.

He poured in eight points in 21 minutes.  His energy provided a much-needed spark in the second half.

With Gavin Baxter being injured for the season, Harward will have an expanded role on the team.

Rebounding will be something Harward needs to improve on. He only grabbed two rebounds against the Broncos.

BYU was outrebounded by Boise state 33-30.

Up next, the Utah Utes on Saturday night. This loss will be easily forgotten if the Cougars can avenge last year’s loss in overtime.

You can hear Matt Baiamonte every Saturday on KSL Newsradio for Cougar Sports Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., or you can find him on Twitter here.

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Three Observations From BYU Basketball’s Home Loss Against Boise State