Alex Barcello Shines As BYU Basketball Upsets No. 12 Oregon

Nov 16, 2021, 10:11 PM | Updated: Nov 17, 2021, 12:35 am

PROVO, Utah — BYU basketball faced No. 12 Oregon in the Phil Knight Invitational, upsetting the Ducks, 81-49. Alex Barcello lit up the Moda Center, scoring 25 points in a superstar performance at the NBA arena.

BYU never trailed Oregon in a dominating performance on the big stage. Mark Pope tested his team with three NCAA tournament teams from a season ago to begin the 2021-22 season. BYU walks away from those games 3-0 and certainly headed to a Top 25 ranking.

The BYU bench came up big in this game, with Spencer Johnson adding 10 points and Fousseyni Traore scoring 10 points and adding six rebounds for the Cougars. It was a relentless effort from BYU on offense and defense; the Cougars came to play and walked away with a victory.

BYU Defense Dominates First Half Against Oregon

The biggest strength in this early 2021-22 season has been defense. So far, it looks like this year’s squad will be the stingiest defense under head coach Mark Pope. The Cougar defense was up for the occasion in this contest. Gavin Baxter had two early blocks as the team held Oregon to just 5-26 shooting in the first half.

Freshman Fousseyni Traore continued to play big defense for BYU. He consistently stifled the taller Oregon big men, scored six points and pulled down to four boards.  The Cougars had multiple runs to jump out to an early lead and continued to extend it throughout the half. BYU dominated in the paint, scoring 22 points in the paint to Oregon’s 8 points.

Alex Barcello led the Cougars with 13 points on a perfect 5-5 shooting performance. The fifth-year senior continues to fuel BYU’s offense and knock down big shots. This year’s squad is deep, the Cougar bench scored 15 points in the first half, led by Traore (6) and Spencer Johnson (5). BYU led Oregon 37-18 at halftime.

Alex Barcello Sparks Second Half Surge To Seal The Win

Alex Barcello continued his red-hot start in the second half, scoring six quick points to help extend the Cougar lead. By the time Barcello missed his first shot of the game, BYU had soared to a 52-28 lead with under 15 minutes to play.

BYU’s offense carried the Cougars home in this game. The team made 18-29 for 62% in the second half, keeping the Ducks at arm length and enduring any attempted runs. BYU continued to attack the rim, scoring 20 points in the paint in the second half.

Te’Jon Lucas came up big in the half for BYU; the two-pronged attack of Barcello and Lucas proved to be too much for Oregon. Lucas scored eight points in the half on a perfect 3-3 shooting. Another new face for the Cougars, Seneca Knight, added seven points and four rebounds in the half.

Oregon’s improved second half offense wasn’t enough to keep them in the game. The Ducks shot just 22% from three in the second half and faltered down the stretch. BYU dominated Oregon to earn an 81-49 win.

BYU’s Next Opponent

BYU returns home to face the Central Methodist Eagles on Saturday, November 20th. The game will take place at the Marriott Center with a 7 p.m. (MDT) tip-off. You can listen to the game on KSL NewsRadio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM.

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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