BYU Falls To San Francisco In Disappointing Exit In The WCC Tournament

Mar 5, 2022, 10:53 PM


(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS — BYU Basketball falls to San Francisco in the Quarterfinals of the West Coast Conference Tournament, 75-63. It’s a disappointing loss for the Cougars, whose NCAA Tournament hopes are hanging by a thread. BYU never got the offense going against the Dons, who boast a Top-20 team in defensive efficiency.

Fousseyni Traore had another big night for Cougars, scoring 16 points and pulling in 12 rebounds. His fantastic freshman season will give BYU fans hope for the future of this squad. In his final appearance in the WCC Tournament, Alex Barcello led the team with 18 points in a gutsy performance.

Competitive First Half Between BYU and San Francisco

It was a tightly contested first half as both teams battled for their NCAA Tournament hopes to stay alive. BYU led at the first media timeout, 9-7. Fousseyni Traore, who had a great debut in the WCC Tournament last night, had an early block which set the tone for the Cougar defense.

The Dons, who are a team that can put on a big run at any time, responded with a 7-0 run. San Francisco’s experienced backcourt of Khalil Shabazz and Jamaree Bouyea are always a tough duo to handle. They combined for 17 of the Don’s 27 points in the half.

BYU responded with a 8-0 run of their own, thanks in large part to some stifling defense. The Cougars have been great when their defense has been on point. That was the case last night against LMU and it showed in the first half tonight. Mark Pope spoke on the importance of controlling the paint and winning the battle on the boards. BYU outrebounded San Francisco in the first half, 21-18.

Fousseyni Traore led BYU in the first half with nine points and seven rebounds. Te’Jon Lucas added six points, but was limited after committing three fouls in the first half.

Foul trouble was the story for both teams in the half, as they combined for 19 total fouls. Neither team shot the ball well in the first half. BYU was 9-25 (36%) from the field while San Francisco shot 9-28 (32%).

After BYU had retaken the lead, San Francisco went on another run. A 9-0 run put the Dons ahead 23-17. Despite seven turnovers in the half, BYU was able to close the gap before half. San Francisco led BYU at half, 27-24.

BYU Can’t Close Deficit In Second Half Against San Francisco

Foul trouble and the quick whistle from the officials were the story early in the second half. Te’Jon Lucas hit the bench early in the half after committing his 4th foul after just four minutes.

The teams traded buckets as San Francisco maintained their lead. At the under-12 minute timeout, the Dons led BYU 43-39. The poor shooting continued for both teams in the half, perhaps with the pressure of the season on the line.

Spencer Johnson came up big in the second half, relieving the pressure off Alex Barcello and Te’Jon Lucas. Johnson had 11 points and a couple big three’s to keep BYU fighting with a chance. Alex Barcello was big down the stretch. Despite being hounded by USF defenders all night, he led the Cougars with 13 points in the second half.

The Dons went on an 8-0 run to extend their lead to double-digits, forcing a Mark Pope timeout with under 10 minutes left. BYU couldn’t recover from the deficit.

BYU trailed, 60-50, with five minutes left in the game. With San Francisco in deep foul trouble, the Cougars had looks at the free throw line. They couldn’t take advantage, as they shot just 11-18 from the line in the second half.

BYU fought until the end, but couldn’t close the gap against the Dons. San Francisco defeated BYU, 75-63.

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 Falls To San Francisco In Disappointing Exit In The WCC Tournament