BYU Basketball Suffers Another Upset Loss, Falls To Pacific

Jan 29, 2022, 10:09 PM | Updated: 10:10 pm
Alex Barcello - BYU Basketball...
BYU guard Alex Barcello prepares to pass the ball during game against BYU in Spokane, Wash., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. Young Kwak, Associated Press

PROVO, Utah — BYU suffers another disappointing loss, falling to Pacific 76-73. It’s a resume-killer for the Cougars, this game is a Quad 4 loss in the NET rankings, and follows a loss to Santa Clara on Thursday. It’s the first Quad 4 loss under head coach Mark Pope and the first time BYU has lost back-to-back regular season games.

Alex Barcello led the team with 17 points on 5-14 shooting. He was consistently pressured by the Pacific defense. Te’Jon Lucas added 13 points, four assists and four steals. Freshman big man Atiki Ally Atiki had a career-high eight points in 12 minutes.

BYU had won seven straight games against Pacific until tonight. It was the Tigers’ first win in West Coast Conference play this season and their first win in regulation since November 26, 2021.

BYU And Pacific Battle Tightly In The First Half

BYU got out to a quick 5-0 start thanks to Alex Barcello. The senior guard had a quick three and an assist to Fousseyni Traore to get ahead. Barcello led the team in scoring in the first half.

Mark Pope kept the starters in for the first 8:45 minutes of the half at the teams played without stoppage. When he finally called a timeout, Pacific was leading 16-10. The Cougars had a five minute scoring draught after starting hot. BYU had good looks, but the shots weren’t falling.

Atiki Ally Atiki had some nice minutes off the bench for BYU. The freshman big had six points and consistently altered shots at the rim in his limited minutes.

Alphonso Anderson, who has familiarity with BYU from his time at Utah State, did everything for Pacific early in the first half. He had seven points and played great defense for the Tigers. Pacific started shooting poorly from three, but turned it on as the game progressed.

The two teams remained close, trading leads throughout the half. A 7-2 run put the Tigers ahead in the closing minute. Pacific lead BYU 33-28 at halftime.

BYU Can’t Overcome Pacific Lead Late In Second Half 

The teams remained tight to start the second half, continuing to trade leads. Pacific got into early foul trouble in the half, getting BYU looks at the free throw line. Just seven minutes into the half, BYU was in the bonus. The Cougars took advantage, making 15-18 in the second half.

Inadvertent buzzers were an issue that persisted throughout the game. With just 9:14 minutes left, the game was paused as a buzzer sounded during an Alex Barcello three point shot. BYU trailed Pacific 52-50 when play resumed and the Tigers immediately went on a 12-0 run.

Another delay with 4:26 left in the game, this one a dispute over a shot clock violation by Pacific, stalled the momentum yet again. It was a messy night for the scorer’s table and the officials. The call went in BYU’s favor, but the Cougars could not get any momentum and continued to trail big.

BYU trailed 69-56 with just 2:15 left to play and the Cougars appeared down and out. But the fight came out for Mark Pope’s squad. Missed free throws from Pacific and timely steals-and-scores put BYU back in the game in the final minute. The Cougars went on a 9-0 run to make it a game.

Alex Barcello hit a three-pointer with 55 seconds left to pull the Cougars within two. But BYU couldn’t pull off the comeback tonight. They fell flat in the final minute and despite another Barcello three at the buzzer, suffered yet another brutal loss. BYU loses to Pacific, 76-73.

BYU’s Next Opponent

After a challenging two-game road trip this week, it doesn’t get any easier for BYU (17-6). The Cougars return home to face San Francisco (17-5) on Thursday 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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