Barcello, Lucas lead BYU to resume-building win over Aztecs


Postgame Notes & Quotes
Box Score

PROVO, Utah – Alex Barcello and Te’Jon Lucas combined for 30 points as the senior guards led BYU men’s basketball to a 66-60 win over San Diego State in a hard-fought game at the Marriott Center Friday night.

“We had the ability tonight to focus on what really mattered. I like that we can be 4-of-18 from the three and still beat an unbelievably talented, long, athletic, Top-30 team," said BYU head coach Mark Pope. "This is an elite, NCAA game out here. No doubt about it. That’s as real as it gets.”

The Cougars and Aztecs has slogged their way to a 54-54 tie with three minutes remaining when Barcello hoisted a three while falling down from the right corner. The ball met the bottom of the net and the Marriott Center erupted in cheers, swinging the momentum of the game in BYU’s favor with a 57-54 lead.

San Diego State responded quickly with a fast-break lay-in off a steal, trimming the Cougars’ newfound lead to one at 57-56.

BYU forward Caleb Lohner provided key rebounds on the ensuing possessions, including a put-back shot that lifted the Cougars to a 59-56 lead.

With 40 seconds on the game clock, Barcello weaved his way through Aztec defenders and nailed a pull-up jumper from the just inside the arc. The shot gave BYU a 61-56 lead and proved decisive.

Four made free throws from Lucas in the final 23 seconds sealed the win for the Cougars.

With both teams shooting 39 percent from the field on the game, rebounds and free throws became the tipping point. BYU shot 78 percent from the free throw line, including an 8-of-8 performance from Lucas and the seventh-consecutive 100 percent free throw showing from Barcello.

San Diego State shot 47 percent from the charity stripe.

The senior from Chandler, Arizona has now made 35 consecutive free throws, 15-shy of the program-record set by Tyler Haws in 2012. Against the Aztecs, Barcello passed the mark of 32-straight set by Michael Smith in 1989.

While San Diego State outrebounded BYU 18-16 in the first half, the Cougars gobbled up 26 second half rebounds on the way to outrebounding the Aztecs for the game 42-38. Lohner and freshman forward Fousseyni Traore led BYU with eight rebounds a piece, with Seneca Knight pulling down six boards.

Traore, Knight, Lohner and Gavin Baxter further fueled the scoring for the Cougars with nine, eight, seven and six points respectively.

Baxter started the second half strong for BYU, scoring all six of his points while cleaning up the offensive glass on three consecutive possessions.

BYU and San Diego State began the game much like it finished. The teams went back-and-forth with the high lead of the half going to BYU at six points. The Cougars ended the opening period leading 32-28 after a Barcello 3-pointer and putback from Traore in the closing possessions.

The Cougars benefitted from 11 first half San Diego State fouls, four of which came on the offensive end with charges taken by the BYU defense.

Following the win over the Aztecs, BYU prepares to face No. 13 Oregon at the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, Oregon on Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. PST. The Cougars and Ducks will meet in the Moda Center, home of the Portland Trail Blazers. View the matchup on ESPN or listen live on the BYU Sports Network.