BYU Opens WCC Play With Impressive Win Over Pacific

Jan 6, 2022, 9:00 PM
Courtesy of BYU photo...
Courtesy of BYU photo

PROVO, Utah — BYU opens conference play in the West Coast Conference with a win over Pacific, 73-51. The Cougars made double-digit three’s and trailed for only 53 seconds in the game. Alex Barcello led the team with 15 points and four assists. Fousseyni Traore had a double-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.

The Cougars relied on tough defense in the first half, while they struggled to shoot from the field. But BYU came out of the half on fire from deep and put the game out of reach. For the game, the Cougars shot 12-25 from three and outrebounded the Tigers 44-27.

Sloppy Play In First Half Keeps Game Close

It was a slow half for both teams to start the game. BYU committed eight turnovers in the first half and struggled to maintain a rhythm on offense. They did most of their damage in the paint, scoring 14 points in the paint and outrebounding the Tigers, 18-14.

The Cougar defense was a tough challenge for Pacific in the half, with the Tigers shooting just 33% from the field. However, they shot 6-15 from three to remain close throughout the half. The biggest lead for either team was seven points.

Alex Barcello led the Cougars in scoring with nine points in the first half. The senior guard also eclipsed 1000 career points scored at BYU. He is the 52nd player in school history to reach that mark. Freshman Fousseyni Traore had eight points and a team-high five rebounds. Pacific guard Luke Avdalovic led the Tigers and the game with 10 first-half points, including shooting 3-3 from three.

With BYU trailing, 30-31, and under 30 seconds left, Mark Pope put the ball in the hands of his star. Alex Barcello hit a big three-pointer and a heads-up play on the inbound by Spencer Johnson helped the Cougars go into halftime with the lead. BYU led Pacific at the half, 35-31.

Second Half Shooting Puts Game Away

BYU came out of the half shooting lights out from deep. Despite early struggles from deep, the team stuck with their shots and reaped the benefits in the second half. The Cougars started off 3-3 from deep to extend their lead to double-digits. Even students were getting in on the shooting performance from deep!

Pacific could not get the shots from three to drop in the half. The Tigers were 1-10 from deep in the second half as BYU pulled away. Despite nine turnovers in the half, the Cougars cruised to a victory down the stretch.

Te’Jon Lucas led the team in the second half with nine points while shooting 3-5 from deep. As a team, the Cougars shot over 50% from three in the second half. BYU put on the gas and earned the win over Pacific, 73-51.

BYU’s Next Opponent

BYU continues conference play when familiar foe Saint Mary’s (12-3) comes to Provo on Saturday Night.  They’ll tip-off at 8:00 p.m. (MDT) at the Marriott Center. 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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