BYU-UCLA Postgame Notes & Quotes
INDIANAPOLIS — The following notes are from BYU's 73-62 loss to UCLA on Saturday, March 20, 2021, at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
ALL-TIME SERIES RESULTS: UCLA leads 12-11
The Cougars have faced the Bruins more than any other team in the NCAA Tournament. UCLA now leads the all-time NCAA Tournament series, 3-2.
In the Bonus
BYU got in the bonus at the 8:39 mark of the first half, but never reached the double bonus. The Cougars shot 3-for-4 from the charity stripe through the end of the first and kept the Bruins out of the bonus, only committing five fouls in the half.
The Cougars didn’t have any player in double figures at the half, but did have contributions from four players who together made up 81% of BYU 's scoring in the first. Alex Barcello led the way with nine points and Brandon Averette followed with four. Matt Haarms and Caleb Lohner each added four points, with Lohner grabbing seven boards in the first half.
Box Score Tidbits
BYU out-rebounded UCLA, 34-30, and scored more bench points and points in the paint, but the Bruins scored more second-chance points. UCLA led for 39:00 of the game and the Cougars never led. The game was tied for 55 seconds.
The Cougars went 3-for-17 (17.6%) from beyond the arc, their lowest shooting percentage since going 1-10 in a 62-52 win at Saint Mary’s on Jan. 14. BYU also shot 9-for-16 (56.3%) from the free-throw line, its worst percentage of the season.
The Mark Pope Era
This was the first time in BYU head coach Mark Pope’s tenure that the Cougars have lost back-to-back games. BYU was previously third in active streaks without back-to-back losses with 60, behind Gonzaga and Houston.
Barcello in Double Figures
Alex Barcello finished in double figures and led the team in scoring for the 13th time this season. Barcello finished with 20 points and five rebounds.
Brandon Averette’s Scoring
Brandon Averette also finished in double figures, adding 15 points and two assists. BYU was previously 16-2 when Averette scored in double figures.
Double-Double for Haarms
Matt Haarms contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds. Haarms finished in double figures in 16 of the 24 games he played in this season. This is the second game this season that Haarms grabbed double digit boards.
Rebounds: Matt Haarms (10, BYU-high, tied career-high)
Rebounds: Caleb Lohner (10, tied)
COACH AND PLAYER QUOTES
Head coach Mark Pope
General thoughts on the game
"Congratulations to UCLA, they played great today. They have a really good team, Mick [Cronin] does an unbelievable job with those guys. They've had a great season. They caused us all kinds of problems, played terrific and got the win. I'm super proud of my guys, they're really special young men and a really special locker room."
On the shooting struggles
"Clearly we didn't shoot the ball well from the three-point line or the free throw line. Credit UCLA for that and putting pressure on us. They had us on our heels. It happens sometimes. We've been able to overcome nights like that before this season. There's going to be nights on occasion where you don't shoot the ball well and we know we have answers, we can still win games, but we just didn't get it done tonight."
On cutting the UCLA deficit to four before the lead getting back to double digits
"I was really proud of my guys in the second half. They kept fighting and kept trying to chip away and that's this locker room. It's what they've been all year, and in some crucial moments, we just couldn't come up with stops. Johnny [Juzang] was a handful tonight and we didn't have answers for him. UCLA can be so meticulous with their pace of play, so it makes it hard to claw back in. It's a game, it's March, it happens, and like I said, credit to UCLA, they played great and we just couldn't quite get over the hump."
On what the seniors meant to the team this season
"What a gift for anybody that's managing or leading or coaching any organization to have three extraordinary young men like Matt Haarms, Brandon Averette, and Alex Barcello. What they did on the court is incredibly impressive, what they accomplished this year is incredibly impressive, their numbers are all super impressive. What they did in terms of bonding and binding hearts and minds together in a locker room, and finding a way to come every day, work hard, and find a way to build a team that's better than anybody thought that they were going to be, they're great human beings and they're going to do great things in their lives, and it's super humbling to be able to, to witness that. I'm so grateful for those guys, I don't know if we're gonna have three dudes walk through our doors that are quite like these guys, they're special human beings."
On the impact of the best locker room in America this season
"We've probably talked about this all the time ,but these guys accomplish ed extraordinary things. They're a top-25 team, they're metrically astounding, probably made the biggest jump from their ranking in preseason to the end of the season, as big a jump as any team in the country. They won huge game after huge game after huge game, they came every single night and every single day in practice ready to go. They took an eclectic collection of guys from all over, with all different backgrounds that hadn't played together, and they forged a really special team. So many accomplishments but that's all the stuff that's good for you guys and good for me. What these guys did that's so spectacular, that nobody's going to understand, is these guys formed a relationship, the likes of which you rarely have in your life, with each other. That doesn't just happen. That comes because guys work at it, sacrifice for it, and so I care about wins and losses, I care about numbers, and all those things are super important and this team accomplished incredible things. They're walking out of this season with a pocket full of records, incredible accomplishments, and huge contributions to BYU basketball and the history of BYU basketball, some great things. But at the end of the day, all that stuff is fine, but they got something that's way deeper and way more important than any of those things. They got each other. "
Senior center Matt Haarms
On his emotions following the loss
"It's tough to go out like that. Credit to them—they have a great team. They outplayed us and deserved to win this game. Lot of things are going through my mind right now. Just grateful for the opportunity I got here at BYU. I'm grateful for the season we've had. It really sucks if you're going out like that in the First Round."
On if he felt there was a tipping point in the game
"The first half was a struggle for us just because of because of using the way UCLA was playing. We were just not able to execute our game plan on (Johnny Juzang). He was coming off clean and getting great shots. In the second half, we were able to claw back to five and then they brought it back to 11, where they kept it basically entire game. I don't think there was one particular point where we lost the game. If you look back, maybe you could say in the first half, ‘what are you doing to get going,’ but I think we did a better job with them in the second half. We just weren't able to come back against them when it mattered."
On if the team ever felt they had enough momentum to take a lead
"Yeah, I'd say early in the second half. We really thought we had an opportunity there. We cut it down I think five. At that point, we just needed to take a time out. We just had to keep that momentum going, and we weren't able to. We weren't able to tie the game up there or bring it around in our favor. We weren’t able to do that, but at that point I feel like that's the closest we really got in the second half."