Barcello eclipses 1,000 points, BYU beats Pacific 73-51 in WCC opener


Box Score

Notes & Quotes

PROVO, Utah –  BYU men’s basketball opened West Coast Conference play on Thursday evening, beating Pacific 73-51 at the Marriott Center in a night where Alex Barcello became the 52nd player in program history to score 1,000 points.

“We have a great, great team of great players. But it's such a luxury to have a veteran guy like Alex who you don't have to actually draw anything up for,” said BYU head coach Mark Pope. “We just ask him to get the ball and score for us, and he does that consistently. It's fun for all of us to watch.”

For just the second game this season, five Cougars scored in double figures. Barcello had 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. Te’Jon Lucas had 11 points, four rebounds and two assists. Seneca Knight finished with 11 points and four rebounds. Trevin Knell scored 10 points and collected four rebounds. 

Foussenyi Traore racked up a double-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and tied his career-high with three blocks.

“We did a really good job busting through heavy defenses and just coming off them willing to create plays for our guys, getting open shots, getting passes to the corner, extra passes for wide-open threes — so I was really, really happy with how we played tonight," Barcello said.

BYU finished the game shooting 43 percent from the field, 55 percent from three-point range and outrebounded the Tigers 45-27. Pacific recorded more steals, 11-4, however, the Cougars finished with 17 assists to the Tigers' eight.

First Half

BYU opened the scoring on its first possession with a floater in the late from Barcello. Traore followed by blocking Pacific’s first shot of the night.

The Cougars went on a 4:30 scoring drought that consisted of four turnovers and allowed the Tigers to go on a 7-0 run, tying up the game 12-12.

Traore scored BYU’s first field goal in five minutes, reigniting the offense, taking back the lead and scoring on four of the Cougars' next five possessions. Caleb Lohner connected with Knight, as he drained his first three-point shot of the night from the corner.

Barcello hit 1,000 BYU career points on a key 3-pointer with three seconds left in the half. Then, off of the ensuing inbounds play, Spencer Johnson stole the ball and scored another basket as time expired, putting the Cougars up 35-31 at the half, after a quick five-point swing. 

Second Half

The Cougars opened the scoring for the half once again as Traore came down with an offensive board, passing it out to Barcello who knocked down a corner three-point shot.

BYU went on to make 4-of-5 field goals with Traore throwing down a dunk. The Cougars went on a 16-4 run, leading Pacific 46-35 with 15:52 left in the game.

The Cougars hit a speed bump, going scoreless for 3:23, before Knell ended the drought, hitting BYU’s first field goal in seven attempts. Knight followed by coming up with a steal near half court, dishing the ball to Barcello who dropped a three-point shot, forcing Pacific to call a timeout with 8:56 left.

BYU kept up the energy and control of the game, going on a 12-5 run, hitting 6-of-8 field goals with just over three minutes left, leading 68-51.

The Cougars emptied their bench late with freshman Atiki Ally Atiki blocking the Tigers’ last shot of the game, allowing for BYU to hold possession to the final buzzer.

BYU returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 8, when the Cougars will host Saint Mary's in a crucial WCC matchup. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.