Three Observations From BYU Second Half Surge Against San Francisco
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.
#BYU completes the Bay Area WCC road trip with a win over @USFDonsMBB. @BYUbasketball #GoCougs pic.twitter.com/ajSmOSvtno
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) January 17, 2021
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.
BIG RICH BIG DUNK. pic.twitter.com/frFYY6aNcD
— BYU Basketball (@BYUbasketball) January 17, 2021
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.
Alex Barcello was awesome tonight. He was perfect 10/10 from the free throw line.
The leader of the team was huge in the second half scoring 17 of his 19 points. #BYU
— Matthew Baiamonte (@baiamontematt) January 17, 2021
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.
BYU Coug Hoops… Gritty & 💪🏽!
— Tom Holmoe (@TomHolmoe) January 17, 2021
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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