Cougars come up short in overtime at Utah Valley


Box Score

OREM, Utah – No. 12 BYU men’s basketball was unable to overcome turnovers, cold shooting and key absences as it lost 72-65 in overtime at Utah Valley on Wednesday night.

“UVU played really well, really physical,” said BYU head coach Mark Pope. “A ton of credit goes to those guys, but I’m proud of our guys as well. There were times they could’ve walked away and they didn’t. They got us to overtime.”

The Cougars tied their game high lead at 50-43 following two made free-throws from Te’Jon Lucas. The Wolverines responded with a 12-5 run to finish regulation, including an eight-minute stretch in which they kept BYU scoreless from the field.

BYU faced a 54-51 deficit with 17 seconds remaining when Seneca Knight made two key free throws followed by a lay-in from Spencer Johnson that forced overtime with the score knotted at 55.

Lucas and Caleb Lohner put BYU up 59-57 early in the extra period, but the Cougars struggled to contain an aggressive UVU attack as the Wolverines finished the game on a 15-6 run.

While BYU outrebounded UVU 53-50, cold shooting held the Cougars in its icy grip throughout the game. As a team, BYU finished the night shooting 32 percent from the floor and 26 percent from distance. 15 BYU turnovers contributed to 24 fast break points for the Wolverines. UVU shot 31 percent from the floor for the game and 26 percent from 3-point range yet turned the ball over just 10 times.

Knight made his first BYU start and made his presence felt early with five points, four rebounds and two blocks in the first half. The New Orleans, La. native finished the night with 10 points and seven rebounds.

Alex Barcello led the Cougars with his second career double-double at 17 points and 11 rebounds. Spencer Johnson nearly recorded another double-double at 15 points and nine boards.

Defense dominated the first half, as the Cougars held a slim 24-22 lead at the break. BYU ran out to an early 9-2 lead with driving lay-ins from Barcello and Lucas, and a 3-pointer from Johnson.

After the Cougars held UVU to 7 percent shooting from the floor in the opening eight minutes, the Wolverines responded with a 9-0 run and took the lead at 11-8.

The Cougars countered with key contributions off the bench from Johnson and Trevin Knell. A Knell 3-pointer put BYU back up 12-11. On the ensuing two possessions BYU made key plays on defense with a Johnson steal and score and Knell plucking away the ball and pushing it ahead to Lohner for the dunk.

BYU (6-1) now travels to face Missouri State of the Missouri Valley Conference on Saturday at 3 p.m. CST. Watch the Cougars’ matchup with the Bears on CBS Sports Network or listen live on BYU Radio and the BYU Sports Network KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM.