BYU COUGARS

BYU Earns Win In Scrappy Battle Against San Diego

Jan 20, 2022, 9:02 PM

BYU vs San Diego...

courtesy of BYU Photo

PROVO, Utah —Β BYU returned home to the Marriott Center on Thursday night, defeating San Diego 79-71. The Toreros challenged the Cougars, who faced a difficult three-game stretch in West Coast Conference play over the last few weeks. The conference continues to show it’s strength, as BYU needed all 40 minutes tonight to earn the victory.

It was a scrappy game throughout between the conference foes. BYU had four players score in double figures in a total team win. Led as always by senior guard Alex Barcello, Barcello had 22 points in the game despite shooting just 1-5 from three. Fousseyni Traore had another impressive outing, securing a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

BYU is off to their best start under Mark Pope, starting the season 16-4 through their first 20 games. The Cougars improved to 4-1 in conference play. San Diego goes to 3-2 in WCC play; they were led by Chase Townsend, who had 14 points in the game. The WCC is expected to compete for 3-4 bids in the NCAA Tournament in March.

Competitive Battle In First Half Between BYU & San Diego

San Diego got off to the hot start in the game, taking the early lead and finding success against the Cougar defense. Joey Calcaterra hit two early three’s to help the Toreros jump ahead. Calcaterra lead the team with eight first half points. San Diego shot 3-13 from deep in the half.

BYU had a nice offensive rhythm throughout the half. However, they didn’t have the shooting performance you would hope. They shot just 33% from the field in the first half. The Cougars consistently attacked down low, winning the battle at the rim with 10 points in the paint and a 25 to 17 advantage in rebounds.

Seneca Knight led the team with 12 points in the first half. Knight hit two big three’s and was best offensive weapon in the half. Fousseyni Traore added seven points, eight rebounds and a block. As a team, the Cougars were just 3-11 from deep in the first half.

The teams battled down the stretch, playing tough defense and struggling to extend a lead. Alex Barcello had a nasty move that had the ROC chanting “ankles” at #0 Bryce Monroe for the rest of the night. The teams were tied at the half, 31-31.

Shooting Improves For BYU In Second Half

It was a sloppy start to the second half as both teams committed multiple turnovers and failed to find their footing. Fousseyni Traore had five quick points for the Cougars, showing off his touch around the rim. BYU earned the second half lead with stifling defense, forcing seven turnovers in the half.

Gideon George scored all 10 of his points in the second half, attacking at the rim and scoring from deep. Alex Barcello led the team down the stretch with 15 points in the half and big buckets when the team needed it.

The offense for BYU finally came around in the middle of the second half. With just eight minutes left in the game, the Cougars had extended the lead to 10 points. It was the first time either team had held a double-digit lead in the game. BYU shot 69% from the field in the half to close out the game. Nice.

The Toreros quickly responded with an 8-0 run, cutting into the BYU lead. The teams scrapped back and forth in the waning minutes. Alex Barcello hit a deep three with just 2:27 left in the game that served as the final dagger. BYU defeated San Diego, 79-71.

BYU’s Next Opponent

BYU (16-4) stays home in Provo to face Portland (10-8) on Saturday night. They’ll tip-off at 7:00 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 onΒ Twitter.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

BYU Cougars

Aly Khalifa, BYU Basketball, Transfer Portal...

Mitch Harper

BYU Center Aly Khalifa Enters NCAA Transfer Portal, Per Report

Khalifa played one season with the BYU basketball program.

3 hours ago

BYU Basketball, Tom Holmoe, Mark Pope...

Mitch Harper

AD Tom Holmoe Sees BYU Basketball In ‘Position Of Strength’ After Mark Pope

BYU athletic director is leading his third men's basketball head coach search.

5 hours ago

BYU Basketball, Dallin Hall, Transfer Portal...

Mitch Harper

BYU Guard Dallin Hall Enters NCAA Transfer Portal

The Honorable Mention All-Big 12 guard has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal.

5 hours ago

Mark Madsen, BYU Basketball, Cal Head Coach...

Mitch Harper

Mark Madsen Cuts BYU Speculation With Commitment To Cal Basketball

BYU can take Mark Madsen off the list of potential head coach candidates.

8 hours ago

Mark Pope, Kentucky Wildcats, Official...

Mitch Harper

Mark Pope Calls Kentucky Job ‘Pinnacle Of Coaching In College Basketball’

Kentucky has officially hired former BYU coach Mark Pope.

9 hours ago

BYU Basketball, Chris Burgess, Head Coach Search...

Mitch Harper

BYU Basketball Head Coach Search: Who Replaces Mark Pope?

The big board of candidates for BYU AD Tom Holmoe to call for the Cougars head coach search.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

BYU Earns Win In Scrappy Battle Against San Diego