PROVO, Utah – Yoeli Childs and Alex Barcello combined for 46 points to give the BYU men’s basketball team a 91-61 victory over Weber State at the Marriott Center on Saturday night.
“I'm super proud of our guys," BYU coach Mark Pope said. "We know that we had our hands full in this game. We talked about it a lot before the game, just in terms of this being a scary game for us. One of our Achilles heels, maybe, in the past has been ability to contain penetration when we’re facing a team that is really pushing in transition and has four guards on the floor that can really get to the rim and make shots. For the most part, especially in the first half, I was really pleased with our guys defensive focus. We got great efforts from several guys on the defensive end.”
Childs recorded a dominant 28 points on 11 of 13 shooting while grabbing eight rebounds and tallying a pair of assists and blocks. Barcello followed with 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and added two assists, one steal and one rebound. Dalton Nixon recorded 11 points and Jake Toolson scored 10. TJ Haws added nine points, a career-best 10 assists and a season-high five rebounds.
The Cougars (10-4) opened the game with three 3-pointers, two by Barcelo and one by Toolson, to jump to an early 9-4 advantage.
Following a free throw by Zac Seljaas, the two teams traded baskets over a series of possessions and was highlighted by a dunk by Childs as BYU held a seven-point lead, 21-14, with 11 minutes remaining in the first half.
A 10-0 run for the Cougars featured baskets by Childs, Connor Harding and Nixon to extend BYU’s lead to 29-14. A jumper by Weber State (4-7) stopped the run but a trey by Toolson continued the scoring for the Cougars and back-to-back baskets by Childs gave BYU a 22-point advantage, with under five minutes to play before halftime.
In the final two minutes of the first half, Childs scored seven-consecutive points to give the Cougars a dominant 51-24 lead at halftime. In the first half, BYU shot 80.0 percent from the field compared to the Wildcats’ 34.6. The Cougars only missed five shots, three of which were from beyond the arc.
Barcello and Childs kicked off the scoring for BYU in the second half, but Weber State went on a 6-0 run to bring the score to 56-34 with 16 minutes remaining in the game.
Childs continued to score, hitting three-straight free-throws, but the Cougars’ offense slowed down as the Wildcats cut the BYU lead to under 20, 59-42 and 13 minutes to play.
The drought was short lived as three different Cougars hit buckets from behind the arc to bring the score to 70-49 with 8:53 left on the clock.
A three-point play by Seljaas sent BYU on a 9-0 run and Harding slammed back-to-back dunks before a steal by Haws resulted in a dunk of his own. On the following possession Barcello buried his fourth 3-pointer for the final basket of the game for the Cougars.
On the game, BYU shot 62.5 percent from the field, 47.4 percent from 3 and 57.1 percent from the charity stripe. Weber State recorded 42.9 percent from the field, 27.3 percent from beyond the arc and 46.7 percent from the free-throw line.
The Cougars return to the Marriott Center to host Oral Roberts on Saturday, Dec. 28, at 7 p.m. MST. The game will be televised on BYUtv with audio broadcasts available on BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM), BYU Sports Network and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
BYU Coach Mark Pope
“I'm super proud of our guys. We know that we had our hands full in this game. We talked about it a lot before the game, just in terms of this being a scary game for us. One of our Achilles heels, maybe, in the past has been ability to contain penetration when we’re facing a team that is really pushing in transition and has four guards on the floor that can really get to the rim and make shots. For the most part, especially in the first half, I was really pleased with our guys defensive focus. We got great efforts from several guys on the defensive end.”
“I thought Yoeli was really solid. I was most impressed with his ball screen and ball first defense, which was unbelievable. His transition defense was really solid all night as well. You see him bringing that part of his game to the forefront – that’s the part of his game that’s going to sell him. He’s already done everything offensively that you could hope to want from a player, but the pace that he’s playing this game on a defensive end, he’s growing so much, literally day by day. That gives us a chance to be a really special team, so I’m super proud of him for that.”
“We play against a team next week that’s killing people on the glass, they’re really big and really physical.”
"We’re shooting the ball better because we have a bunch of guys who are committed to shooting the ball better.”
Senior forward Dalton Nixon
“We have great shooters on the team this year. I think the additions of AB (Alex Barcello) and Jake (Toolson) really help us to spread the floor and we all have confidence in each other, so that’s been a huge part of the offseason with the new coaching staff is to make shots. Early on in the season we’ve been really confident as a team to be able to shoot the three, and that’s definitely been a huge part of our offense.”
“It’s huge. Yoeli (Childs) is such a great post player and makes the floor so spaced for everyone else. It gives opportunities for TJ (Haws) to get in the lane and for Jake and Alex to hit shots. He’s just a huge part of what we do and to have Yoeli back and to have him be dominating like he has been, it’s huge for us. So, it’s been great to have him back.”
Junior guard Alex Barcello
“There was, definitely. We were trying to blow it up (the dribble handoff), but we were really just trying to stay with our man because they like to hit the gaps or maybe fake it and take it to the rack. So just staying in front of our man, handling it on our own and just getting stops and rebounds.”
“Definitely. We shot extremely well tonight just like I think we always do. I think that we have weapons at every position. This is the best shooting team that I’ve ever played on, so it’s fun to play with these guys.”
Senior forward Yoeli Childs
“I think we’re very far away from it, [team reaching it’s fullest potential] which is exciting.”
“You really have to pick your poison. Are you going to let one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country shoot threes, or are you going to play one-on-one in the post? We feel that no matter what the other team does, they’re wrong; that’s our mindset. We’re just going to share the ball, find the open guys, and have fun on that end.”
“The fact that we never have a guy that can’t shoot the three is incredible. It’s really hard to guard; that’s how a lot of NBA teams are, that’s why the spacing is so tough. It’s really hard when you have five guys at all times that are elite 3-point shooters.”
“It’s a good feeling when your shots are falling like that. My teammates and coaches put a lot of confidence in me. The confidence they give me helps my game a lot.”
“When you make the right play, shots fall… Coach calls it the karma of the game, that’s his favorite thing.”