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BYU Basketball Survives In Overtime, Defeats LMU To End Losing Streak

Feb 10, 2022, 11:10 PM

BYU-LMU...

BYU basketball guard Alex Barcello. (Nate Edwards/BYU Photo)

(Nate Edwards/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah — BYU Basketball breaks their four-game losing streak, surviving in overtime against LMU 83-82. With their NCAA tournament hopes on the line, the Cougars gutted out a win that potentially changes their momentum headed into the final few games of the season.

It was a tale of two halves for the Cougars, who trailed by 12 at halftime. LMU shot 70% from the field in the first half and just 44% in the second half as BYU turned up the intensity on defense. The Cougars battled in the overtime period and earned the win in extra time.

BYU’s role players came up big tonight. Gideon George had a great shooting night, scoring 18 points and making 4-7 from three. Te’Jon Lucas added 17 points and 9 assists for the Cougars. Fousseyni Traore had a double-double with 19 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks.

BYU Defense Can’t Stop LMU In First Half

Alex Barcello came out hot in the first half, scoring the first five points to give BYU the early lead. It was another new lineup for Mark Pope’s squad. Te’Jon Lucas returned to the starting five after missing the previous game against Gonzaga. Seneca Knight was moved into the starting lineup in place of Trevin Knell.

Points were aplenty in the half as both teams shot well from the field. BYU’s defense, which was their calling card early in the season, has been a struggle during their four-game losing streak. The Cougars struggled again to start the game. LMU shot lights out from deep, which kept them ahead of BYU for much of the half. LMU shot 70% from the field and 7-10 from three in the first half.

With much of the defensive attention on Alex Barcello, the Cougars needed other players to step up. Gideon George came to play and had a great half for the Cougars. George led BYU with 10 points while shooting 2-3 from deep. Te’Jon Lucas was great in his return to the court. The fifth-year senior scored six points and dished four assists in the half.

After BYU closed the gap, LMU put on the gas to end the half. The game was tied, 27-27, with under six minutes left. The Lions shot 9-9 from the field to end the first half with a double-digit lead. LMU led BYU at half, 45-33.

BYU Surges Back In Second Half

LMU came out of halftime with the same offensive intensity as the first half. They quickly extended their lead to 17 points. But with the season on the line, BYU didn’t back down. The Cougars went on a 19-2 run to tie the game with 13 minutes left.

Te’Jon Lucas was huge in the second half for BYU. He attacked the rim and hit open threes, taking the pressure off of Alex Barcello. Lucas scored 11 points in the second half. Freshman Fousseyni Traore played big for BYU in the half as well. Fouss had seven points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

After LMU had everything they wanted on offense in the first half, the BYU defense tightened up. One-on-one defense intensified as the Lions shot just 44% from the field. The Cougars also outrebounded LMU in the second half, after losing that battle in prior half.

The teams battle back and forth throughout the half, trading buckets and leads. Three-point shooting helped BYU climb ahead as the half progressed. After shooting just 33% from three in the first half, the Cougars were 9-19 (47%) from deep.

BYU led by three points with 90 seconds left in the game. After a bit of back and forth, Alex Barcello made 1-2 free throws with 17 seconds left to put BYU ahead by two. LMU’s Eli Scott made a layup with just two seconds left and the teams ended regulation tied, 76-76.

BYU Survives In Overtime Against LMU

It was a fast-paced overtime period, as the teams traded just a few buckets. Alex Barcello came up big with four points in the quick five minute period. With the game tied at 82, Seneca Knight was fouled with under a second left. Knight made the first, purposefully missed the second, and despite a last-second heave from LMU, the Cougars survived. BYU defeats LMU in overtime, 83-82.

BYU’s Next Opponent

BYU (18-8) remains in the Golden State for another WCC matchup. The Cougars will face Pepperdine (7-19) on Saturday night. They’ll tip-off at 8:00 p.m. (MDT) at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, CA. 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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BYU Basketball Survives In Overtime, Defeats LMU To End Losing Streak