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Cougars' hot shooting downs Aggies 82-71 at home Wednesday
PROVO, Utah - No. 24 BYU men’s basketball’s hot offensive start helped the Cougars down Utah State 82-71 at the Marriott Center on Wednesday evening.
Alex Barcello led the Cougars with 17 points on 4-of-12 shooting, 2-for-5 from behind the arc, two rebounds, four assists and two steals. Te'Jon Lucas had 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting and 2-for-5 from 3-point land as BYU won its 10th straight over the Aggies.
“I'm really pleased with the way we played today," Barcello said. "Definitely two really great wins after a tough loss last week. These guys have done a really great job stepping into roles they are not familiar with. ... Coach told us to step up our pace, and we practice that every day, and these guys have really bought into that. We just listen to coach and try to do the best we can while we are out there. Thankfully it worked for us tonight and we were able to hit shots.”
Trevin Knell had his season high in points with 13 on 5-of-6 shooting, 3-of-4 from the three, four rebounds, one assist and a steal. Fousseyni Traore put up a career-high 14 points on 3-of-4 from the field and a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe.
The Cougars' shooting was much improved from a week ago, as they stepped back on the Marriott Center floor shooting 50.0 percent from the floor, 45.8 percent from behind the arc and 86.4 percent from the charity stripe.
BYU also outrebounded the Aggies 31-26 and assisted on 19-of-26 field goals.
Brock Miller opened the scoring with a right-wing step-back three to give the Aggies the early lead followed by a Justin Bean bucket.
Th Cougars responded quickly to the Aggies hot start going 5-for-5 from the floor including a jump hook from Caleb Lohner, back-to-back left-wing threes from Barcello and Knell, two free-throws by Lucas and a floater in the lane from Knell to take a 12-6 lead three minutes in.
Seneca Knight picked up his second foul with 13:02 left in the first half sending him to the bench. On the next Cougar possession, Barcello drew Rylan Jones second foul forcing him to the bench early in the half.
Traore and Gideon George each got their first buckets of the game with 12 minutes left in the half. Knell hit his third three of the game to extend the Cougar lead to seven, 24-17.
With 8:11 left, Knell got a steal and threw a perfect outlet pass to Lucas who finished with the left hand for his first bucket and to give the Cougars their first double digit lead of the game.
After a Justin Bean jumper snapped the 12-0 BYU run, Knell hit another floater in the lane to up his total to 13 with 6:47 left.
Lucas countered the Steven Ashworth three with a five-point run of his own hitting a kick-out three and a pull-up jumper on back-to-back possessions.
Utah State came out of the under-4 timeout in a 2-3 zone. The Cougars took a possession to find their groove, but the ball moved more freely on the next possession leaving Hunter Erickson open for his first three of his collegiate career which he knocked down from the right wing.
The Aggies held for the last shot of the half, but the Cougars forced a turnover on Brock Miller to take a 45-33 lead into the break.
Lucas and Barcello hit back-to-back threes to start the second half for the Cougars but the Aggies responded with five straight from RJ Eytle-Rock and Justin Bean to cut the BYU lead to 10.
The Cougars struggled from the field early in the second half, not making a shot from the field until the 13:39 mark when Spencer Johnson hit his first three of the night followed by a jump-hook from Gideon George on the next BYU possession.
Traore checked into the game with 13:04 left and made an immediate impact with a strong post move for the score to stretch the lead to 17 for the Cougars. Johnson pushed the BYU lead 20 with a contested right wing three with 11:31 to play in the game.
Utah State scored four-straight baskets to cut the lead to 12 with 9:42 to play.
Lucas beat his man baseline and found a wide-open Knight for three to break the 2:44 scoreless streak for the Cougars.
The Cougars went 5:30 without a field goal and in that time, the Aggies went on an 8-point run to cut the Cougar lead to seven with 3:32 left.
Traore scored four straight points to give the Cougars some breathing room, but Brandon Horvath hit his fourth three of the game to cut the lead to 7 with 1:45 to go.
In the last minute and a half, Barcello scored a driving layup and knocked down two free throws to keep the Cougar lead at 9. The Aggies began playing the foul game, but the Cougars went 7-for-8 down the stretch to ice the game and win by 11.
No. 24 BYU returns to Marriott Center, hosts Utah State on Wednesday night
PROVO, Utah – No. 24 BYU returns to the friendly confines of the Marriott Center on Wednesday to host in-state rival Utah State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Wednesday’s contest will be broadcast on BYUtv. It will also be broadcast live on BYU Sports Network on the BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2 and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
No. 24 BYU Notes (7-1, 0-0 WCC)
- BYU finished its three-game road trip on a high note Saturday afternoon with a 74-68 victory over Missouri State. Four Cougars reached double figures including a game-high 21 from Alex Barcello
- BYU is ranked No. 24 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 released on Monday morning, marking the second time under head coach Mark Pope that the Cougars have been ranked in three consecutive polls. They are also ranked No. 23 in the Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll.
- The Cougars rank third in the nation in the 3-point field goal defense. They are one of 10 teams in the NCAA Division I men’s basketball to hold opponents under 25 percent from downtown as opposing teams are shooting 23.4 percent from downtown.
- Barcello ranks third in the West Coast Conference in scoring as the senior guard is averaging 18.6 points per contest. He has scored in double figures in 11 straight games including a season-high 25 against then-No. 12 Oregon at the Phil Knight Invitational.
- Te’Jon Lucas ranks 42nd nationally in assists per game (5.0/game) and 47th in total assists (40). The senior guard also ranks second on the team in scoring with 11.9 points per contest.
Head Coach – Mark Pope
- Alma Mater: Kentucky, 1996
- Division I Career Record: 128-72 (7th Season)
- Record at BYU: 51-16 (3rd Season)
Utah State Notes (6-2, 0-0 MWC)
- Utah State enters Wednesday’s contest at 6-2 following a 60-58 setback to St. Mary’s last Thursday night in Logan. The loss ended a six-game win streak for the Aggies which included winning the Myrtle Beach Invitational.
- Ryan Odom is in his first season in Logan after spending five seasons at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. In the 2018 NCAA Tournament, UMBC became the first-ever 16-seed to win a first round game as it posted a 74-54 win over overall top seed Virginia.
- The Aggies rank fifth in the nation in assists per game (19.4/game) led by junior guard Rylan Jones. The Utah transfer is dishing out 5.4 assists per game to go along with 9.5 points per contest. He has five or more assists in five games including a season-high seven against UT Arlington and Carroll College.
- Justin Bean leads the team and Mountain West Conference in scoring and rebounding. The Moore, Okla. Native is scoring 22.1 points per game shooting 66.0 percent from the floor, 55.6 percent from three and 87.5 percent from the free throw line while pulling down 12.5 rebounds per game.
Head Coach – Ryan Odom
- Alma Mater: Hampden-Sydney, 1996
- Career Record: 132-83 (8th season)
- Record at Utah State: 6-2 (1st season)
- Series Record: BYU leads 143-92
- Last Meeting: BYU won 67-64, December 5 2020
- H/A/N: 85-32/55-60/3-0
- TV: BYUtv
- TV Talent: Dave McCann, Blaine Fowler
- Radio: BYU Sports Network, BYU Radio Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2, KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM
- Streamed Audio: BYURadio.org, BYUCougars.com/LiveRadio and the BYU Radio, BYU Cougars and BYU Gameday apps
- Radio Talent: Greg Wrubell, Mark Durrant
- Live stats: BYUCougars.com