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BYU Basketball Defeats Pepperdine, Earns Big Win On Senior Night

Feb 26, 2022, 8:17 PM | Updated: 8:23 pm

BYU-Pepperdine-Traore...

Courtesy of BYU Photo

PROVO, Utah — BYU Basketball wrapped up West Coast Conference play with a win over Pepperdine, 75-59. The Cougars send their seniors on to Las Vegas with a victory in their final home game at the Marriott Center. BYU’s NCAA Tournament chances remain alive with the double-digit win.

Freshman Fousseyni Traore dominated Senior Night for BYU. Traore had a double-double of 25 points and 19 rebounds. His 19 rebounds set the individual game record for BYU basketball freshmen.

BYU’s senior backcourt of Alex Barcello and Te’Jon Lucas helped lead the charge, each scoring in double-digits for the game. Lucas had 15 points and four assists, while Barcello scored 10 points and pulled in eight rebounds.

BYU Leads Pepperdine For Most Of First Half

Freshman Fousseyni Traore made his presence known early in the first half. The talented freshman had four early rebounds and a block on the defensive end. He used his paint touches to find open teammates, collecting a few assists as well.

The three ball was falling early for BYU and helped them jump ahead to an early lead. In the first half, the Cougars shot 5-13 (38%) from deep. BYU also had plenty of looks from the free throw line as Pepperdine committed 10 fouls in the first half. However, the team made only 3-8 (38%) of those free throw attempts.

Turnovers hurt BYU in the first half as the Cougars 5 turnovers kept the game close. That, coupled with some excessive whistling from the officials, led to a long scoring drought for both teams. Neither team made a field goal for an almost four minute stretch in the half.

BYU maintained their lead throughout the half. The Cougars were led by the freshman Fousseyni Traore in the first half on Senior Night. Traore had nine points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Trevin Knell added eight points off the bench with two made threes.

The Cougars took the lead into halftime, leading Pepperdine 36-33.

BYU Defense Shuts Down Pepperdine In Second Half

It was a sloppy start to the second half for both squads as neither team could build momentum. Turnovers and missed shots plagued BYU and Pepperdine for the first five minutes of the half.

BYU held the Waves to another scoring drought, as Pepperdine had a scoreless stretch of over four minutes. The Cougars stepped up on defense in the second half, allowing just 26 points and holding the Waves to just 27% shooting from the field.

Alex Barcello made a big three-pointer with under 12 minutes left that erupted the crowd. That got the team going. BYU built a double-digit lead and never looked back.

Fousseyni Traore continued to dominate in the second half. Traore scored 10 straight points on his own to help his team surge ahead by double digits. He led BYU in second half with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Te’Jon Lucas, who had a nice game for the Cougars, added eight points in the second half.

The BYU lead stretched to almost 20 as the Cougars closed out the game. Injured seniors Richard Harward and Gavin Baxter were able to check into the game in the final minute. The Cougars earned a 75-59 win over Pepperdine.

BYU’s Next Opponent

The Cougars (21-9) finished their regular season in the West Coast Conference. BYU will play next in the West Coast Conference Basketball Tournament. The West Coast Conference Basketball Tournament will take place in Las Vegas, NV from March 3-8, 2022. BYU is expected to be the no. 5 seed and would play their first game on Friday, March 4th. As always, 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 Defeats Pepperdine, Earns Big Win On Senior Night