No. 24 BYU Falls to Creighton in South Dakota
PROVO, Utah — BYU traveled to South Dakota to face the Creighton Bluejays at the Sanford Pentagon. No. 24 BYU fell to Creighton, 83-71, in another tough test early in the season. Alex Barcello led the Cougars with 28 points and four assists. Seneca Knight, who got the start at forward, added 13 points and shot 3-5 from three.
Creighton stifled BYU on offense, the Cougars shot just 39% from the field in the game. The only silver lining for BYU is that three point shooting is back to familiar levels. After turning it on against Utah State, they followed it up with an 12-23 (52%) performance this afternoon. Creighton used their superior size to dominate in the paint. The injuries to BYU’s big men are beginning to prove fatal for the Cougars.
Creighton Crushes Cougars in First Half
BYU has used a stifling defense to wear down their opponents this season. But it was Creighton who locked down on the defensive end early in this game. BYU shot just 35% from the field and had eight turnovers in the first half. The Bluejays’ size was a real problem for the Cougars as Creighton had seven blocks in the half.
BYU struggling early with Creighton’s size. This year it’s been the Cougars dominating the paint but the losses are adding up. 16 points in the paint for the Bluejays to just 4 for BYU. Outrebounded 12-7 so far. Three-point shooting is keeping BYU in this game. #BYUhoops #GoCougs
— Dallen Graff (@lilthoint) December 11, 2021
The Cougars stayed in this game thanks to their improved three-point shooting. After starting the season as one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the country, BYU has turned it on. This team is beginning to look like the Mark Pope teams we’re familiar with.
BYU made 11 threes and shot 45% from deep in the win earlier this week against Utah State. In the first half against Creighton, the Cougars were 5-9 for 56% from deep. Alex Barcello led the team in scoring with 10 first half points. The senior guard continues to shot lights out from deep, making 2-3 in the half.
— BYU Men’s Basketball (@BYUMBB) December 11, 2021
Creighton continued to dial up the pressure and extend their lead throughout the half. The Cougars could not get a stop, as Creighton shot 57% from the field in the half. BYU trailed big at halftime, 48-30.
Valiant Effort Falls Short in Second Half
Neither team shot well in the second half at Sanford Pentagon. BYU shot 44%, while Creighton shot just 28%. The Cougars cut a twenty-point lead into just ten points with 8 minutes left in the game. BYU continued to shoot well from deep, making 7-14 for 50% in the second half.
This would be a different game with a healthy Richard Harward and Gavin Baxter. #BYU has no answer and no options about what’s happening in the paint.
Paint points: Blue Jays + 14
Rebounds: Blue Jays + 5
— Matthew Baiamonte (@baiamontematt) December 11, 2021
However, BYU couldn’t close the gap. They struggled on offense and couldn’t keep the Bluejays off the free throw line. Creighton shot 19-21 from the free throw line in the half to close the game down the stretch. The Cougars didn’t go away easy, but it was too little too late. BYU who never figured out the relentless defense from Creighton.
The Cougars frustrating defense showed up in the second half. BYU outrebounded the Bluejays in the second half, 23-15 and even outscored them in the paint. The slow start was too much to overcome. BYU fell to Creighton 83-71.
Final: No. 24 #BYU falls to Creighton 83-71.
BYU drops to 8-2 overall on the season. Finals week coming up then Weber State in the Purple Palace next Saturday.#BYUHoops @kslsports
— Mitch Harper (@Mitch_Harper) December 11, 2021
BYU’s Next Opponent
BYU faces yet another in-state foe as they travel to Ogden to take on the Weber State Wildcats (8-1) next Saturday. The game will take place at the Dee Events Center in Ogden, Utah with a 6 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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