Barcello scores 22, Cougars defeat Loyola Marymount in second round of WCC Tournament


LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Alex Barcello scored a team-high 22 points as BYU defeated Loyola Marymount 85-60 in the second round of the West Coast Conference Tournament on Thursday evening at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.

Barcello was one of three Cougars in double figures, with Fousseyni Traore recording his eighth double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds and Trevin Knell tied a season-high with 15 points.

BYU outrebounded the Lions 44-25 with Traore leading the way and Caleb Lohner pulling down double digit rebounds for a third straight postseason game, finishing with 10 boards.

Barcello scored 12 of his 22 points in the first half, including a pair of 3-pointers that saw the senior guard become the seventh player in program history with 80 or more 3-pointers in a single season. Those two triples spearheaded an 8-0 run that saw BYU push its lead to double figures for the first time in the game, 33-21.

The Cougars outscored the Lions in the paint by 18, 48-30, included three straight baskets from Lohner and Traore in the final minutes of the first half. Traore had an offensive putback followed by a block which resulted in another hook shot for the freshman. It was Lohner’s turn for an offensive putback on the next possession, as BYU led by 15 at the half, 43-28.

LMU’s Eli Scott scored two of his game-high 24 points in the opening possession of the second half, before the Cougars went on a 8-0 run to push the lead over 20 points. Traore continued to torment the Lions in the post with a dunk, and Barcello made all three free throws after being fouled by LMU’s Joe Quintana.

The Lions had no answer for Knell as the second half continued and the junior sharpshooter hit a 3-pointer and a jumper within two minutes of each other for five of his 10 second half points.

With a third win of the season over LMU, BYU advances to face San Francisco in the quarterfinals on Saturday, March 5, at 8:30 p.m. MST.

Watch BYU take on the Dons on ESPN2, or tune-in for live play-by-play on BYU Radio, BYU Sports Network and BYU Sports Network KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM.