BYU Basketball Grinds Out Victory Over Upset-Minded Pacific In Double Overtime

Jan 30, 2021, 6:51 PM | Updated: 6:57 pm

BYU - Pacific - Alex Barcello...

BYU basketball guard Alex Barcello against Pacific Tigers on January 30th, 2021. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

(BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball avoided the upset on Saturday against the upset-minded Pacific Tigers. The Marriott Center’s catfight went into double overtime before the Cougars pulled away for the win.

BYU guards Brandon Averette and Alex Barcello combined for 47 points to lead the Cougars to a victory.

BYU/Pacific ends in Double Overtime

From the opening tip in double overtime, BYU took over. The scoring got started with Matt Haarms scoring a quick bucket to put BYU up 77-75.

Spencer Johnson then converted an And-One opportunity to give BYU a five-point lead, which felt huge in a tightly contested game like this one.

BYU closed the game with a Brandon Averette three that put the Cougars up for good at 91-83, and from there, they rolled to a 95-87 win.


The back-and-forth action continued into overtime. Connor Harding buried a big three to give BYU a 68-66 lead. Pacific kept answering with Jordan Bell and Justin Moore.

Like the end of regulation, Alex Barcello went to the line for a pair of free throws near the end of overtime and missed both.

Justin Moore then hit two free throws putting BYU down two with 19 seconds remaining.

Alex Barcello attacked the rim with ease and tied the ball game up at 75, giving Pacific another shot at the upset with 19.8 remaining.

Pacific came away empty-handed, and the game went into a second overtime.

2nd Half

BYU 64, Pacific 64 (0:00): Refs called Connor Harding for illegal touching after going out of bounds and being the first person to touch the ball. That took place with 42.7 seconds left and the game tied up. BYU got a defensive stop and then had a chance to win the game with 6.2 seconds remaining.

Caleb Lohner went to the line to shoot two free throws and missed both giving Pacific a chance to win with 3.2 seconds left.

Pacific heaved a shot up past half court that missed, sending the game to overtime.

Pacific 61, BYU 58 (3:44): The Tigers hot shooting continued as Jordan Bell buried a corner three and was fouled by Richard Harward to complete a four-point play. That gave Pacific the lead.

Harward hit two more jump hooks to prevent Pacific from pulling away.

Pacific’s James Hampshire was fouled at the hoop, giving UP another and-one opportunity. The Tigers couldn’t convert as they committed a lane violation.

BYU 51, Pacific 48 (7:24): Pacific is taking a page from the Pepperdine playbook and playing BYU’s big men physical in the post. The Tigers have worked to make things difficult for Matt Haarms and Richard Harward. Harward received a post entry to score a calm, collected jump hook for his first points of the game.

Pacific started to hit threes in this stretch. The Tigers were one of the worst shooting teams in the country, but now they’ve hit six three’s so far, including a deep ball from Loyola Marymount transfer Jordan Bell, who scored his first points of the game.

BYU 43, Pacific 39 (11:32 – Pacific timeout): BYU committed its 10th and 11th turnovers as the slugfest continued. Every point was hard to come by. The Tigers haven’t scored for two minutes, yet they continue to hang around and only down by four.

BYU 38, Pacific 35 (15:09): BYU jumped out to a 7-0 run, while Pacific was 1-7 from the field to set up BYU for an early second-half lead.

Halftime Observations


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1st Half

Pacific 32, BYU 31 (HALF): Pacific, who entered the game in the bottom 30 for three-point shooting nationally, was shooting above their average at 30 percent in the first half. The Tigers hit a three to tie the game at 28. Brandon Averette hit another three for BYU to regain the lead; then the Cougars had a turnover that led to a Pacific bucket to put the Tigers in front 32-31 after the first 20.

BYU 28, Pacific 25 (3:15): BYU’s scoring drought spanned 5:42 of game time before Alex Barcello ended the drought with a pair of free throws. One of the game highlights came off an airball from Trevin Knell; Alex Barcello kept his head on a swivel on the play and dove out for the ball before going out of bounds. He found a wide-open Spencer Johnson for three.

BYU 23, Pacific 23 (7:42): The Tigers reeled off a 7-0 run to tie the ball game up after BYU committed five turnovers. Some sloppy play prevented BYU from being able to get shots up and opened the door for Pacific to get back into the game.

BYU 23, Pacific 16 (11:40): BYU built up its lead to seven. Playing some clean basketball with Averett increasing his points total to 10. The Cougars brought out a lineup that only featured one of the original starting five, and that was Averette.

BYU 16, Pacific 12 (14:47): Brandon Averette jumped out to a hot start for BYU, scoring eight of the Cougars 16 points in the opening minutes. The senior guard knocked down a pair of threes. Matt Haarms and Kolby Lee also hit early threes for BYU, who had been in a shooting slump in recent games.

BYU/Pacific Pregame

BYU forward/center Matt Haarms warmed up with no leg sleeve on. He had no sleeve on his knee during the game. The former Purdue transfer has worn a sleeve on his knee throughout the season.

BYU started the same starting five for the sixth consecutive game with Kolby Lee, Haarms, Trevin Knell, Alex Barcello, and Brandon Averette.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for 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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BYU Basketball Grinds Out Victory Over Upset-Minded Pacific In Double Overtime