BYU COUGARS

Alex Barcello Showed Why He Is BYU Basketball’s ‘Engine’ In Pacific Win

Jan 30, 2021, 8:34 PM | Updated: 8:36 pm
BYU Basketball - Alex Barcello...
BYU basketball guard Alex Barcello gets out on the run against Pacific on January 30th, 2021. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
(BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball needed a big performance from its star player Alex Barcello to grind out a victory over an upset-minded Pacific Tigers team in double overtime. The Cougars got that from the senior guard, who showed why he is the engine of this year’s BYU team.

Barcello scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half and the two overtime periods. The senior leader dished out seven assists and pulled down nine rebounds in the critical victory for a BYU team looking to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015.

“He’s our engine, you know,” said fellow backcourt mate Brandon Averette. “He gets us going, he always brings us together, talking to us, everything he says is always true, 100 percent of the time, every single time, and he always gives it his all on both ends of the floor. You never have to question his leadership.”

Barcello opened the season as one of the nation’s shooters. When WCC play began earlier this month, the shots have been falling as easily for the former Arizona transfer. Still, he made a point of emphasis to attack the rim and get to the hoop against Pacific to help BYU avoid a second consecutive loss.

Alex Barcello: “We just kept telling ourselves, we’re going to win this game.”

“We just kept telling ourselves, we’re going to win this game,” said Barcello. “We’re not breaking, and we know how it feels to lose a game like this. But this is why we play basketball. We play basketball because we love to be in those moments. It’s a really special feeling, and I wouldn’t want to do this with any other team.”

Every time you watch a BYU game, you’re bound to see Barcello taking hard hits to the floor, diving for loose balls, and making the plays to put his team in positions to win ball games. He even lost part of his tooth after taking an elbow to the face last week.

BYU’s strength in 2021 is the size, but it’s the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Barcello that is making this team run, and it’s putting them in a spot to try and achieve all of their lofty goals.

Next, up for BYU is a Tuesday road game at San Diego, followed by a Thursday road tilt at Portland.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com 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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