Brigham Young University
Jan 08 | 08:00 PM
52 - 43
Saint Mary's College of California
Marriott Center

500 E University Parkway Provo UT 84604

Joseph Hovey | Posted: 8 Jan 2022 | Updated: 8 Feb 2022
Joseph Hovey

Lucas, defense lead BYU to crucial WCC win over Saint Mary’s

Atiki Ally Atiki Saint Mary's 2022
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Box Score
Notes & Quotes

PROVO, Utah – BYU men’s basketball turned offensive frustration into defensive fight as the Cougars forced 19 Saint Mary’s turnovers and held the Gaels to a season-low in points in a 52-43 win in a raucus Marriott Center Saturday night.

"I am really proud of our guys tonight," said BYU head coach Mark Pope. "I thought we were near-flawless defensively. I thought Te'Jon Lucas did great because he is such a high-IQ defensive player, and I thought he was fantastic." 

Saint Mary’s jumped out to an early 7-0 lead before the Cougars roared back to tie the game at seven with a 3-pointer from Trevin Knell and points in the paint from Alex Barcello and Atiki Ally Atiki.

BYU’s defense set up its scoring run with three consecutive possessions of forced turnovers.

A Barcello jumper from the left wing gave BYU its first lead of the game at 9-7 with 11 minutes remaining in the first half. The Cougars would hold onto the lead for the remainder of the game.

Both defenses then clamped down, leading to a stretch of over four minutes without a field goal on either end of the floor. Again, the Cougars responded with defense opening the door to offense.

An Ally Atiki block fell into the clutches of Barcello who tossed the ball ahead to Lucas for a transition 3-pointer. Lucas led the Cougars in scoring on the night with 10 points.

Blocks from Ally Atiki, Caleb Lohner and Fousseyni Traore, coupled with steals from Lucas, Gideon George and Spencer Johnson powered BYU’s 21-9 run to end the half. The final sequence of the half epitomized the game’s defensive duel as George plucked the ball free and charged down court to find Traore for the half’s closing score with an assist around the defender.

The Cougars led 28-16 at the half after allowing just 27 percent shooting from the Gaels.

A brief glimmer of offense shown to start the second half as both teams came out shooting over 60 percent from the field in the second period’s opening possessions. BYU found its shot in the paint with Lohner and Traore backing down defenders on the way to the tin for two. Despite being outrebounded by six, BYU outscored Saint Mary’s 34-26 in the paint on the night.

The Cougars would lead by as many as 15 following a driving score from Trevin Knell.

BYU turnovers and struggles on the defensive glass helped Saint Mary’s chip into the deficit as the game wound to a close. The Gaels drew within seven at 46-39 with five minutes remaining when the Cougar defense came up big again.

With Saint Mary’s off on a fastbreak, Lucas took a key charge that returned the ball to BYU and thwarted the Gaels' comeback attempt.

Knell, Lucas and Traore capped off the Cougars' final scoring possessions of the night with scores in the paint that eluded Saint Mary’s size down low.

For the game, BYU’s 19 forced turnovers were comprised of six blocks and eight steals. Ally Atiki recorded a career-high three blocks while George and Johnson came up with two steals each.

Knell and Traore scored nine points a piece and combined with eight from both Barcello and Knight to follow Lucas in the Cougars’ scoring tally.

“I just want to give Saint Mary’s credit for the whole 40 minutes, and they fought hard,” Lucas said. “Once we finally settled in, we were able to run our offense, but they were a tough, physical team, and I am glad we came and fought with adversity and came out with the win.”

With the win on Saturday night, BYU secured its 10th consecutive home victory and started 2-0 in West Coast Conference play for the first time since the 2016-17 season.

Next BYU takes on No. 4 Gonzaga at The Kennel in Spokane, Washington on Thursday, Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. PST. Watch BYU battle the Zags live on ESPN2 or listen to the play-by-play call on BYU Radio or the BYU Sports Network/KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM


Tyson Jex | Posted: 7 Jan 2022 | Updated: 8 Feb 2022
Tyson Jex

BYU welcomes Saint Mary’s to the Marriott Center on Saturday

Gideon George Pacific 2022

PROVO, Utah – BYU looks to improve its home win streak to 10 games when the Cougars welcome Saint Mary’s to the Marriott Center on Saturday, Jan. 8. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Saturday’s contest will be broadcast on ESPN2. 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.

BYU Notes (13-3, 1-0 West Coast Conference)

  • BYU opened West Coast Conference play with a 73-51 victory over Pacific on Thursday evening at the Marriott Center. The Cougars improved to 13-3 on the season with their eighth straight win over the Tigers.
  • Alex Barcello scored a game-high 15 points as the senior guard became the 52nd player in program history to score over 1,000 points at BYU.
  • Fousseyni Traore recorded his second double-double in his last three games with 12 points and 11 rebounds. The freshman is averaging 11.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and two blocks per game since being inserted into the starting lineup.

Head Coach – Mark Pope

  • Alma Mater: Kentucky, 1996
  • Division I Career Record: 134-74 (7th Season)
  • Record at BYU: 57-18 (3rd Season)

Saint Mary’s Notes (12-3, 0-0 West Coast Conference)

  • Saint Mary’s opens WCC play on Saturday after finishing the non-conference portion of the Gaels' schedule at 12-3 following a win over Yale on Dec. 28, 2021 in Moraga, Calif.
  • The Gaels are statistically one of the best defensive teams in the nation, ranking 11th in scoring defense and 12th in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency rankings.
  • Matthias Tass is the leading scorer for the Gaels as the 6-foot-10 senior is scoring 12.5 points per game. He has scored in double figures in eight straight games including a season-high 27 in a win over Missouri State.

Head Coach – Randy Bennett

  • Alma Mater: UC San Diego, 1986
  • Division I Career Record: 466-195 (21st Season)
  • Record at Saint Mary’s: Same

Series Information

  • Series Record: BYU leads 17-16
  • Last Meeting: BYU won 65-51, Feb. 27, 2021
  • H/A/N: 12-5/3-9/2-2

Broadcast Information

  • TV: ESPN2
  • TV Talent: Eric Rothman, Sean Farnham
  • Radio: BYU Sports Network, BYU Radio Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2, KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM
  • Streamed Audio:, and the BYU Radio, BYU Cougars and BYU Gameday apps
  • Radio Talent: Greg Wrubell, Mark Durrant
  • Live stats:


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