BYU falls to San Francisco 73-59
PROVO, Utah – Despite 25 points from Alex Barcello, BYU men’s basketball was unable to overcome a 21-point second-half deficit as the Cougars fell to San Francisco 73-59 at the Marriott Center on Thursday night.
“This is a really good San Francisco team. They are skilled and veteran and big, and they executed very well. We’re clearly disappointed with the outcome, and the game is testing us a little bit right now, and we’ll find some answers.” said head coach Mark Pope.
BYU began the game on an energizing 12-4 spurt with Barcello alone pouring in eight points.
San Francisco quickly regrouped out of a timeout, cutting the Cougar lead to one at 14-13 and tying the game at 18 with just under eight minutes to play in the half.
From there, the Dons escaped BYU’s grasp with a clinical 22-7 run that put the Cougars in a 40-25 deficit at the half.
San Francisco built its game-controlling first-half lead by shooting 41 percent from the field, including eight 3-pointers. The Dons also took care of the ball with 10 assists to just two turnovers. Meanwhile, BYU allowed six turnovers to just five assists and left eight points at the free-throw line with a dismal 5-of-13 figure.
San Francisco extended its lead to a game-high 21 points early in the second half before BYU mounted a gallant, albeit insufficient comeback effort.
Atiki Ally Atiki scored on three consecutive possessions to help the Cougars chip the deficit to 15 points at 53-38. The freshman forward from Mwanza, Tanzania recorded a career-high 10 points while shooting 5-for-5 from the field. Thursday marked the third-straight game in which Ally Atiki has scored a new career-high. Ally Atiki also made his presence felt on defense with four blocks, including a crowd-pleasing swat against the glass which abruptly ended a Don possession in the first half.
Seneca Knight scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half and trimmed the San Francisco lead to 10 following a driving lay-in with a foul and subsequent made free-throw.
The Cougars would come as close as nine points at 58-49 on a basket from Gideon George with 6:36 remaining. San Francisco held command of the hardwood the rest of the way and handed BYU its third-straight conference loss for the first time as members of the West Coast Conference.
For the game, BYU outshot San Francisco 40-39 percent from the field, but free-throw struggles and turnovers proved too much to overcome. The Cougars shot 48 percent from the foul line to the Dons’ 72 percent and turned the ball over 13 times with just 10 assists. San Francisco registered 15 assists to nine turnovers and outrebounded BYU 45-37. The Dons had five players score in double figures led by forward Yauhe Massalski’s 16 points.
BYU (17-7, 5-4) remains at home on Saturday as it hosts No. 2 Gonzaga. Watch the Cougars battle the Zags on ESPN or tune-in for live play-by-play on BYU Radio, the BYU Sports Network or KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM.
BYU welcomes San Francisco to the Marriott Center on Thursday evening
PROVO, Utah – BYU returns to the friendly confines of the Marriott Center on Thursday, Feb. 3, when the Cougars host the Dons of San Francisco. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. MST.
Thursday’s contest will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network. It will also be broadcast live on BYU Sports Network and BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2 and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
BYU Notes (17-6, 5-3 West Coast Conference)
- BYU ranks first in NCAA Division I men’s basketball in total rebounds. In fact, the Cougars are the only team in the nation with more than 900 rebounds as they have pulled down 919 rebounds so far this season.
- Fousseyni Traore ranks second in the West Coast Conference in offensive rebounds per game with 2.95. His 65 offensive rebounds this season in 22 appearances in the fourth-most by a freshman in program history.
- Alex Barcello moved up to 41st on the all-time scoring list with his 19-point performance on Saturday at Pacific. He also recorded the 27th game of his career with three or more 3-pointers against the Tigers.
Head Coach – Mark Pope
- Alma Mater: Kentucky, 1996
- Division I Career Record: 138-77 (7th Season)
- Record at BYU: 61-21 (3rd Season)
San Francisco Notes (17-4, 4-3 West Coast Conference)
- Third-year head coach Todd Golden picked up his 50th career win on Saturday in USF’s 88-85 victory over Santa Clara.
- Jamaree Bouyea ranks second in the West Coast Conference in scoring at 18.3 points per game. The senior guard is shooting 51.0 percent from the field, 41.6 percent from 3-point range and 76.2 percent from the free throw line.
- Yauhen Massalski, a grad transfer from San Diego, leads the conference in offensive rebounds per game (3.36/game).
Head Coach – Todd Golden
- Alma Mater: Saint Mary’s, 2008
- Division I Career Record: 50-31 (3rd Season)
- Record at San Francisco: 50-31 (3rd Season)
- Series Record: BYU leads 23-6
- Last Meeting, BYU won 71-69, January 15, 2022
- H/A/N: 11-2/9-6/3-1
- TV: CBS Sports Network
- 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