Three Observations From BYU’s Win At San Diego State
PROVO, Utah – The BYU Cougars basketball team held off a late push from the San Diego State Aztecs to earn a much needed 72-62 win against a ranked team on the road for the first time since 2007.
The Cougars were in control for much of the game, but some bad offense down the stretch opened the door for the Aztecs.
— Chris Burgess (@chrisburgess34) December 19, 2020
After a loss to Boise State at home, it seemed unlikely that BYU could earn an invitation to the big dance without winning the WCC.
Now with a win over a ranked opponent on the road, the door is back open for an invitation to the NCAA tournament in March.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 13 long years since that’s happened.
Here are my three observations from a wild game in Viejas Arena.
1. Brandon Averette second half
This season has been a roller coaster for Brandon Averette. There’s been a few performances that show his ability and others where you wonder if he should be starting.
All 10 of his points came in the second half when scoring was more difficult.
Without a dagger three point shot late from Averette, I don’t think the Cougars hold off the Aztec comeback.
The Brandon Averette game.
— Mitch Harper (@Mitch_Harper) December 18, 2020
That was a massive shot. It’s the type of shot that could propel Averette to increased production in conference play.
Alex Barcello was fantastic against San Diego State, but it’s critical for Averette to be reliable if BYU is going dancing in March.
2. Trevin Knell making shots
The Cougars held a 15 point halftime lead because of great defense and shot making from the perimeter.
Trevin Knell buried a couple of long distance shots helping the Cougars outscore the Aztecs off the bench by 11 points.
Whether it’s Spencer Johnson or Trevin Knell, it’s a huge boost to this team when one of those guys is making shots off the bench.
What a half for #BYU hoops! Domination on both sides of the ball.
This team can be really good if they can piece it together for a full 40 minutes.
What’s scary as well is Matt Haarms is still feeling out his role on the team. #BYU
— Matthew Baiamonte (@baiamontematt) December 18, 2020
Against Utah, it was Johnson. This time it was Knell’s turn to provide a spark.
BYU is still searching for more consistent shooting, as they only made two shots behind the arc in the second half, but they have plenty of options off the bench to get some shot making.
Like Averette, this could be a game that adds confidence for Knell.
I love seeing the celebrations in the locker room after a win. I was anticipating a cooler bath after this win, but instead Coach Pope took a different route jumping around with the players.
Alex Barcello embodies the best locker room in American mantra for BYU. He’s the leader of this team and it shows in the clips we get postgame.
HARD WORK 💪 pic.twitter.com/BR5fyJ7XUm
— BYU Basketball (@BYUbasketball) December 19, 2020
An underrated piece of this clip is watching Richard Harward in the background. All I could think of was, “Loud Noises” from Steve Carell’s character in Anchorman.
This team is building tremendous chemistry that could benefit them later in the season.
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