BYU falls to San Francisco 73-59


Box Score
Notes & Quotes

PROVO, Utah – Despite 25 points from Alex Barcello, BYU men’s basketball was unable to overcome a 21-point second-half deficit as the Cougars fell to San Francisco 73-59 at the Marriott Center on Thursday night.

“This is a really good San Francisco team. They are skilled and veteran and big, and they executed very well. We’re clearly disappointed with the outcome, and the game is testing us a little bit right now, and we’ll find some answers.” said head coach Mark Pope.

BYU began the game on an energizing 12-4 spurt with Barcello alone pouring in eight points. 

San Francisco quickly regrouped out of a timeout, cutting the Cougar lead to one at 14-13 and tying the game at 18 with just under eight minutes to play in the half.

From there, the Dons escaped BYU’s grasp with a clinical 22-7 run that put the Cougars in a 40-25 deficit at the half.

San Francisco built its game-controlling first-half lead by shooting 41 percent from the field, including eight 3-pointers. The Dons also took care of the ball with 10 assists to just two turnovers. Meanwhile, BYU allowed six turnovers to just five assists and left eight points at the free-throw line with a dismal 5-of-13 figure.

San Francisco extended its lead to a game-high 21 points early in the second half before BYU mounted a gallant, albeit insufficient comeback effort.

Atiki Ally Atiki scored on three consecutive possessions to help the Cougars chip the deficit to 15 points at 53-38. The freshman forward from Mwanza, Tanzania recorded a career-high 10 points while shooting 5-for-5 from the field. Thursday marked the third-straight game in which Ally Atiki has scored a new career-high. Ally Atiki also made his presence felt on defense with four blocks, including a crowd-pleasing swat against the glass which abruptly ended a Don possession in the first half.

Seneca Knight scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half and trimmed the San Francisco lead to 10 following a driving lay-in with a foul and subsequent made free-throw.

The Cougars would come as close as nine points at 58-49 on a basket from Gideon George with 6:36 remaining. San Francisco held command of the hardwood the rest of the way and handed BYU its third-straight conference loss for the first time as members of the West Coast Conference.

For the game, BYU outshot San Francisco 40-39 percent from the field, but free-throw struggles and turnovers proved too much to overcome. The Cougars shot 48 percent from the foul line to the Dons’ 72 percent and turned the ball over 13 times with just 10 assists. San Francisco registered 15 assists to nine turnovers and outrebounded BYU 45-37. The Dons had five players score in double figures led by forward Yauhe Massalski’s 16 points.

BYU (17-7, 5-4) remains at home on Saturday as it hosts No. 2 Gonzaga. Watch the Cougars battle the Zags on ESPN or tune-in for live play-by-play on BYU Radio, the BYU Sports Network or  KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM.