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BYU-San Francisco Postgame Notes and Quotes


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The following notes are from BYU's 72-63 win over San Francisco on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, at War Memorial Gym. 



Tight First Half

The Cougars shot 11-29 from the field compared to the Dons’ 11-31. BYU committed seven turnovers and had 16 of its 26 points in the paint. BYU had an early five-point lead, but it was quickly erased as San Francisco went on a 19-4 run to take a 10-point lead. Gideon George had a strong first half performance off the bench, scoring eight and trimming the San Francisco lead down to just one to end the half.

Big Second Half

After scoring just two points in the first half, Richard Harward came up big for the Cougars, finishing with 13 points, including two dunks, while also pulling down a career-high 11 rebounds. A 19-2 BYU run led to a commanding 64-51 lead, ultimately putting the game out of reach for the Dons. San Francisco’s Khalil Shabazz hit four three-pointers in the final 1:05, but it wasn’t enough.

BYU’s Bigs Making a Big Impact

BYU outrebounded San Francisco by 17, 45-28, and scored 40+ points in the paint for the fifth straight game.

Beginning of a Win Streak

After losing three straight against the Dons, the Cougars have now won two in a row. BYU won 14 of 15 from 2012-2018.

Thirteen-game Requirement Reached

With tonight’s game now in the books, BYU has played the minimum number of games required (13) to be considered for the NCAA tournament.

WCC Play Returns to the Marriott Center

BYU (11-3, 2-1) returns to Provo for its first pair of WCC home games this season, while San Francisco (9-7, 3-3) will look to get back on track against Santa Clara on Thursday, Jan. 21.


Richard Harward

Harward finished the night with 13 points on 5-8 shooting, securing 11 rebounds, five of which coming on the offensive glass. The 11 rebounds are a career-high, and it was his second double-double of the season. His 13 points were just two shy of his season high where he scored 15 against Utah.

Alex Barcello

Barcello has finished in double figures in 11 of BYU’s 14 games this season. He finished with a team-high 19 points and two rebounds. Barcello had a strong second half, logging 17 points while going 10-10 from the free-throw line.

Gideon George

George came up one point short of a career high, scoring 12 to go with three rebounds and two blocks in 15 minutes played.

Notable career highs/career firsts

Career-high rebounds: Harward (11)


Head coach Mark Pope

On picking up two big WCC road wins this week ...

“I’m telling you, if we could put more weekends like this together, where these guys are just this tough, and their resolve is this sure, and they’re able to manage frustration in such a focused way, it bodes well for the possibilities of this team, because we will keep getting better, if we can always rely on this toughness, we can get something done. I could not be more proud to be associated with this basketball team right now with what these guys did this weekend."

On what changed for the team in the second half tonight …

“Brandon Averette really steadied us. He was great down the stretch. Connor Harding gave us some really good minutes at the end of the first half. Gideon George helped us get some life. Rich was so good in all of his minutes, coming up with a really physical, emotional double-double. As much as anything, we walked into halftime feeling one, we’re really trying to guard an incredibly explosive, difficult-to-guard offensive team, and two, we had just endured the first half, where it was all frustrating, and we just found a way to wrap it up in the last five minutes where it was still a reasonable game. I’m super proud of that. That made me feel super good going into halftime. I went in thinking these guys are here, and I think they've got a boat load of toughness left in them; let’s see what happens in this second half.”

On the depth of the team …

“We punished them twice, putting Matt (Haarms) on the right block where he’d kick out and pass with his left hand, and so they took off the double, which kind of slowed us down in the first half. Then Matt (Haarms) went three straight possessions and got buckets. Imagine having to deal with that, and then Rich Harward is coming in the next minute to destroy you on the glass. I thought our depth was huge this weekend. Depth can be super frustrating. It slows down your development because you’re coaching 10 guys every practice instead of five or eight, and sometimes things can feel disjointed. But on trips like this, we have the luxury of Brandon Averette sitting the last three minutes so he can go get a catch on the last possession of the game in the press and just dribble away from everybody because he’s so fresh — when you have a dynamic like that, it’s really special. These guys have done a great job sharing with each other this way, and I think it was really hard for Saint Mary’s to manage, as the game waned on. It was really hard for San Francisco to manage.”

On the team playing for each other ...

“It’s a tribute to this locker room, what they’ve been able to do for each other together. It’s certainly served us well this week. I hope Cougar fans are enjoying, because these guys are fighting hard for each other and fighting hard for Cougar faithful.”

Guard Alex Barcello

On picking up two big WCC road wins this week ...

“I’m really proud of these guys and how we fought back in both games and came out with the road sweep. It really speaks to our toughness, how to battle through and continue to get stops, put stops together. We say three continuous stops is a kill, and we had a lot of those tonight, and I was extremely proud of our guys.”

On the impact Harward had on the game ...

“I can say a million great things about Rich. He’s my guy. One thing that sticks out to me is he’s such a team player. The character, the energy, the enthusiasm that he brings to our team is on another level. I think it shows every game, as we’ve been progressing throughout the season, and I think it’s going to continue to show.”

On moving on to WCC play at home ...

“Just knowing that we beat two really tough, really good teams in our conference is just a really great feeling, and I think that’s going to continue to show as we move through conference"