Three Observations From BYU Second Half Surge Against San Francisco

Jan 16, 2021, 8:24 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 used a strong second half performance to defeat the San Francisco Dons 72-63.

After a loss on the road at Gonzaga, the Cougars have won back-to-back games against upper tier teams in the WCC.

Similar to the win at Saint Mary’s, BYU struggled early, but second half adjustments helped the Cougars sweep the Northern California road trip.

This team is resilient. I don’t believe this team has played it’s best basketball yet, which is an exciting prospect for Cougar fans.

Here are my three observations.

1. Richard Harward off the bench

With BYU trailing by 33-28 early in the second half, Richard Harward was subbed in for Matt Haarms.

After that substitution, the Cougars outscored the Dons 45-30.

Harward scored 11 points, pulled down six rebounds, and threw down two thunderous dunks after the break.

His energy is contagious. This team feeds off his hustle and determination.

No player on this team has improved more than Harward throughout the course of this season.

2. Alex Barcello free throws

Barcello led the team in scoring with 19 points. He went to the free throw line 10 times in the second half, making all of them.

BYU ranked 206th in free throw percentage heading into this matchup. They finished the game making 83 percent from the charity stripe in large part because Barcello was perfect.

He’s the leader of the team. When he plays well, BYU plays well. That’s exactly what we saw in the second half.

3. Slow starts

For the third consecutive WCC road contest, BYU got off to a slow start offensively.

At one point in the first half they trailed by 10 points.

Fortunately for the Cougars, strong second half play helped them come from behind again.

Starting slow is not something Coach Pope wants to become a habit. There’s plenty of time left in conference play to get that sorted out.

The Cougars are entering the easy portion of their conference play schedule.

Now is an ideal time to fix the sluggish starts before hosting Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga next month.

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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