BYU COUGARS

BYU Basketball Earns Exhibition Win Against Colorado Christian

Nov 4, 2021, 9:08 PM | Updated: 9:53 pm
Alex Barcello BYU Basketball...
Alex Barcello BYU Basketball (Courtesy of BYU Photo)
(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah — The BYU basketball team played their first and only exhibition game ahead of the 2021-22 season and defeated Colorado Christian 63-45. The Cougars were led by their experienced backcourt of Alex Barcello and Te’Jon Lucas.

Fans were back in the stands at the Marriott Center as BYU overcame a slow start with a strong second half. Barcello led the team with 16 points, but BYU’s defense was the star of the show. They forced 19 turnovers and held Colorado Christian to just 37% shooting on the night.

First Half vs Colorado Christian

It was a slow start for BYU in the first half. As is typical early in the season, it took a while to get in sync on the court. Poor passing early in the half led to missed opportunities for easy buckets. One of the new members of the team, Te’Jon Lucas, stood out early alongside Alex Barcello. Lucas showed good vision early when he led the offense, in particular on a pass to Gavin Baxter which led to a foul and free throws. He led BYU with three assists in the first half.

Alex Barcello continued to show why his return is so important. He is the heart and soul of this team and leads by example on both ends of the court. Barcello took multiple charges on the defensive end when they needed a stop and then hit two big threes to end the half and give BYU the lead.

Richard Harward started the game for the Cougars, but exited after just five minutes. He did not return. Freshman Fousseyni Traore picked up minutes in his absence and took advantage. The Mali native had two blocks in the first half and showed great awareness on defense.

Second Half vs Colorado Christian

BYU scored just 26 points in the first half, but turned it on in the 2nd half with 37 points. After a strong showing in the first half, Fousseyni Traore got the start for the injured Richard Harward and continued his stout defense.

Gideon George exploded out of halftime with a quick nine points in just four minutes. He attacked the rim and used his defense for offense, like he did on a big steal and dunk. He scored six straight points before a Colorado Christian timeout.

With a healthy lead secured, Mark Pope emptied the bench in the final minutes of the game. Guard Trey Stewart looked good in his first action with the bench unit. The Cougars struggled at the free throw line tonight, hitting just 6-19 attempts (31.6%).

The Cougars start off the regular season against Cleveland State on November 9th at the Marriott Center. The Vikings were a NCAA tournament team last season and will be a great test to start the season. They’ll face an even greater test on Friday night in the San Diego State Aztecs.

Dallen Graff is a KSL Sports Contributor. He is the Producer of Cougar Sports Saturday (SUBSCRIBE) on KSL NewsRadio. Follow him on Twitter.

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