Traore records ninth double-double as Cougars fall to San Francisco in WCC quarterfinals


LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Fousseyni Traore recorded his ninth double-double of the season on Saturday evening as BYU fell 75-63 to San Francisco in the quarterfinals of the West Coast Conference Tournament. 

The No. 5 seed Cougars found little rhythm on offense all night against a hounding USF defense. BYU shot 38 percent from the field and 64 percent from the free-throw line but no stat proved more difficult to overcome than a mere 15 percent from the 3-point line.

No. 4 seed USF countered the Cougars, shooting 43 percent for the game, including second half shooting numbers of 54 percent from the field and 50 percent from deep.

The Dons decisively controlled three of the game’s four major scoring runs, two of which came in the opening half.

After Te’Jon Lucas led BYU to an early 9-7 lead, USF responded with a quick 7-0 run to go up 14-9. The Cougars responded with an 8-0 run of their own as they found points in the paint with Fousseyni Traore and Trevin Knell scoring at the rim.

The Dons parried with a 9-0 run as the half wound to a close, though the Cougars briefly stemmed the tide with a brief scoring spurt from Traore and Alex Barcello.

BYU returned from the locker room down 27-24 and battled to a basket deficit at 33-31 when the Dons began their winning surge. A 13-2 USF run midway through the second half proved the game-sealer.

Barcello led BYU with 18 points, including a 7-for-9 performance from the free-throw line. Traore compiled 16 points and 12 rebounds while Spencer Johnson added 11 points, shooting 4-for-4 from the field.

Traore continued his climb up the BYU freshman record books with his ninth career double-double on Saturday. The forward from Bamako, Mali is second all-time at BYU in freshman double-doubles behind only Shawn Bradley (1990-91) with 10. Traore surpassed Yoeli Childs (2016-17) for second-most freshman games with 10 or more rebounds and is just six boards shy of surpassing Bradley for the second in total freshman rebounds at BYU.