BYU-San Diego Notes and Quotes


The following notes are from BYU's 79-71 win over San Diego on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, at the Marriott Center.



First Half

The Cougars got off to a slow start, shooting 30 percent from the field and going down for the first eight minutes of the game. After a 6-0 run over San Diego and a 3-pointer by Seneca Knight, BYU took the lead for the first time twelve minutes into the half. The Cougars and Toreros went into the locker room tied 31-31. Knight led the scoring for BYU with 12 points, followed by Alex Barcello and Fousseyni Traore with seven each. The Cougars finished the half shooting 33 percent from the field going 11-of-33, 27 percent from the three-point line, and 85.7 percent from the free throw line. San Diego ended the first half shooting 41 percent from the field going 13-of-32.

Second Half

BYU and San Diego both started the second half with strong defensive games keeping the score close. The Cougars went on a 7-0 scoring run seven minutes into the second half going up 47-40 for their largest lead of the night. BYU held their lead for the remainder of the game with a final score of 79-71. Barcello ended the night as the top scorer for the Cougars with 22 points followed by Traore and Knight with 14 points each. BYU finished the night shooting 49 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from the three and 882.4 percent from the free throw line going 14-of-17. San Diego ended the game shooting 45 percent from the field going 28-of-62, 36.8 percent from the three, and 71 percent from the free throw line. 


BYU outrebounded San Diego 38-28 with 11 offensive rebounds, eight of which came in the first half. The Cougars took control of the boards early allowing for multiple second-chance opportunities.

Double-Digit Finishes

Four Cougars finished the night in double-digits. Traore ended the night with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds, Barcello ended the night with 22 points, Knight tied a season-high with 14 points and George rounded it off with 10 points.


Seneca Knight

  • Knight finished the game with 14 points, tying his BYU career-high
  • He contributed five rebounds and three assists

Fousseyni Traore

  • Traore finished the night with his third double-double this season, tied for the eighth-most by a freshman in program history
  • 14 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks

Alex Barcello

  • Barcello led the Cougars in scoring with 22 points

Gideon George

  • George finished the game with 10 points and seven rebounds

Notable career highs/career firsts

Career-high points: Knight tied career-high with 14 points (Weber State)


Alex Barcello opening statement

“It was a great game tonight. San Diego is a great team, and we knew this would be a battle coming into this conference game. They are a great rebounding team and I thought we did a really great job on their shooters. We had a few slip-ups in the first half, but we decided to bring the energy and tighten-up our communication at half and continue to battle throughout the game. We did a great job handling the glass and every possession we focused on rebounding and I love that we are always locked in. I think we were all having fun out there and there is a lot of emotion, especially when we win.” 

Mark Pope

On having Seneca Knight 

“Seneca was really important for us tonight. His numbers are great defensively for us and he was terrific handling the physicality tonight. He helped in transition and he made a lot of plays that led to scores from other guys, so he was tremendous tonight.”

On Fousseyni Traore

“Clearly on the glass he is very impressive and this game feels slow to him, which is unbelievable as a freshman. He is great on the glass, as a scorer, and as a rim protector.”

On offensive efficiency in the second half

“Our energy from the beginning was in the right place. We were getting the rebounds early in the first half and the shots just were not falling for us, but we knew that would come because our energy was there. It is such a gift as a coaching staff to know that our guys will come to every game ready to compete and ready to fight.”

On energy coming from defense

“The biggest play of the game was on the defensive end for sure. Te'Jon Lucas just took the ball from McKinney and it was a wrestling match, and that was a forceful message to our whole team and our bench and everybody else and changed the dynamic of the game.”

On the WCC

“This was a game for outright possession of second place in the league right now, and the league is good, there’s no night off in this league.”

On Seneca Knight’s role 

“He’s done an unbelievable job, and growing is hard. He’s on a Top 25 team where everything that matters is different, and that’s a learning process you don’t walk into a program like ours, and to Seneca’s credit he has been really trying and willing to learn what that means and we aw some of the results tonight.”

On win number 16

“I’m so happy for these guys because they’ve earned it and every game is massive. We’ve been blessed where we have been really good which makes every single game huge. It’s pretty great and It’s fun.”

Alex Barcello

On team dynamic after Atiki ejection

“It was rebounding and locking in on our defensive principles, making sure that we’re communicating. I think that the energy, our energy, comes from the defensive end, and we really saw that in the second half.”

On Seneca Knight

“It’s hard coming into a Top 25 team and it’s a learning process, but he comes in everyday and continues to battle and battle because he wants it and that’s why it’s so fun to play with him.”

On his crossover stepback jumper

“Shots like that are satisfying because they are so fun. It gets the crowd into the game a little more, it gets your team into it a little more and it lightens up the mood. We put in so much work and whenever those plays come, it is always fun to just rock with it and go with the emotion.”