BYU holds off SDSU for big road win
SAN DIEGO – BYU men's basketball (7-2) handed No. 18 San Diego State its first loss of the season, beating the Aztecs 72-62 in Viejas Arena and avenging a November loss at the Marriott Center to the Aztecs last season.
"This [San Diego State] team is really good," said BYU head coach Mark Pope. "I was having these nightmares of us having zero points for the first 19 minutes of the game, and that's what they've done. They've let one team score over 60 points all season long, and they played a really tough schedule also. I do think there's a very legitimate chance they don't lose another game this season until the postseason. They're that good. So to come in here and get out with the win is just a tribute to our guys and how tough they are."
Alex Barcello led BYU with 22 points on 7-11 shooting, with seven rebounds and seven assists. Brandon Averette and Matt Haarms each added 10 points, with Haarms also contributing eight rebounds.
After a scoreless first two minutes by both teams, the Cougars scored first on a Kolby Lee floater. Spencer Johnson knocked down a baseline jumper and BYU took a 4-2 lead. A driving Johnson layup then put the Cougars up 6-5.
An elbow jumper by Barcello gave BYU a three-point advantage before the Aztecs once again made it a one-point game. Barcello got a floater to go and Harward scored on a back-down layup to put the Cougars up 12-7. Trevin Knell then hit a transition three and BYU had a 15-10 lead.
Barcello swished a deep 3-pointer and Knell knocked down another triple in transition, capping a 9-0 run that put the Cougars up 11. During that run, SDSU missed nine consecutive shots before they finally completed a three-point play to make it 21-13.
Caleb Lohner scored on a tip-in and Haarms got a reverse layup to go, making it 25-15. BYU. Barcello hit a floater off the glass, Johnson nailed a transition kick-out three, and then Barcello swished a corner three, putting the Cougars up 33-18.
Two Connor Harding free throws then gave BYU a game-high 17-point lead but the Aztecs also knocked down a pair at the charity stripe on the other end, making it a 15-point game at the half with the Cougars up 35-20.
BYU held SDSU to no field goals in the final 3:03 of the first half. The Aztecs shot 25% from the field and 18% from three in the half. Matt Mitchell led the team with nine points at the break.
The Cougars shot 52% from the field in the half and 36% from beyond the arc. Barcello led BYU with 12 points on 5-6 shooting. He also had three rebounds and five assists in the first 20 minutes.
Lee opened the second half with a back-down hook shot and the Cougars had an early 17-point second half lead. Two straight baskets by the Aztecs cut the lead to 13 before a Haarms tip-in extended the lead back to 15.
Another 4-0 SDSU run had the lead down to 11, but Lohner made two free throws for a 41-28, BYU lead. Johnson went 1-2 from the line before Mitchell hit a three for the Aztecs, making it an eight-point game at 42-34. Barcello then pushed the lead back to 10 on a driving floater.
Haarms followed a Harward miss with a tip-in and Barcello scored on a backdoor layup to put BYU up 48-37. A pair of Knell free throws gave the Cougars another 10-point advantage at 50-40. Haarms then scored on a drop-step layup and it was 52-42.
Averette got his first points of the game, nailing a big 3-pointer that put BYU up 55-44. Mitchell completed a three-point play for the Aztecs, but back-to-back Averette layups gave the Cougars a 12-point lead, forcing an SDSU timeout.
A pair of Barcello free throws made it 61-47, BYU, but a 6-0 Aztec run on two Mitchell triples cut it to 61-53. Two more SDSU treys and a Mitchell dunk capped a 14-0 run for the Aztecs that tied it up at 61. A Haarms floater finally ended the run and put the Cougars back up 63-61.
SDSU’s Mitchell went 1-2 from the free throw line, making it a one-point game before Averette knocked down another huge triple, putting BYU ahead 66-62. After an Aztec turnover, Barcello hit two pairs of free throws. Harding added another two free throws to seal it for the Cougars, who would leave Viejas Arena with a 10-point win, 72-62.
The Aztecs shot 37% from the field and 36% from the free in the game. Mitchell kept SDSU in it with 35 points on 12-17 shooting, but no other Aztec scored more than eight points.
BYU outrebounded SDSU by 14, scored 11 more bench points and 10 more points in the paint than the Aztecs. The Cougars shot 46% from the field and 30% from deep. Johnson and Knell each scored eight points. Lee finished with four points and five rebounds. Harding also scored four points and grabbed four boards.
The Cougars will be back in the Marriott Center on Monday, Dec. 21, to play Texas Southern at 7 p.m. MST. The game will be televised on BYUtv and broadcast on the BYU Sports Network on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2 and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
BYU to take on undefeated San Diego State on Friday
PROVO, Utah – BYU men’s basketball heads to San Diego State this week for a Friday game versus the Aztecs (5-0). This will be the 73rd meeting between the former conference foes. BYU leads the overall series 48-24.
The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network at 2 p.m. PST. It will also be broadcast live on the BYU Sports Network on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2 and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
BYU Notes (6-2, 0-0 West Coast Conference)
- The Cougars are off to a 6-2 start, with wins over Utah, Utah State, St. John’s, Utah Valley, New Orleans and Westminster. The two losses were to USC and Boise State.
- BYU is led by Alex Barcello who is averaging 17.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. Barcello has scored 142 points in eight games (as of Dec. 14) good for No. 6 in the nation in points scored. He is shooting a blistering 62.2% from three and 61% from the field.
- Barcello is 76 of 146 from beyond the arc (52.1%) in his BYU career. He is currently the Cougars all time three-point percentage leader. Nate Call is second at 45.6%.
- BYU forward Caleb Lohner was named the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Week on Monday after helping the Cougars to an 82-64 victory over Pac-12 rival Utah last Saturday. The true freshman leads BYU in rebounding at 6.8 boards per game. He is averaging 5.1 points per game and is tied for the team lead in steals (7) and is second in free-throws made (11).
Head Coach – Mark Pope
- Alma Mater: Kentucky, 1996
- Division I Career Record: 106-66 (5th)
- Record at BYU: 29-10 (2nd)
San Diego State Notes (5-0, 0-0 MW)
- SDSU is 5-0 and coming off a big road win at No. 23 Arizona State. The Aztecs have also defeated No. 22 UCLA, UC Irvine, St. Katherine and Pepperdine.
- In the 2019-20 season, San Diego State defeated BYU at the Marriott Center 76-71. SDSU overcame a nine-point deficit in the second half, led by senior guard Jordan Schakel who hit 5-7 three-pointers.
- The Cougars last beat SDSU during the 2010-11 season when Jimmer Fredette and No. 9 BYU took down Kawhi Leonard and the fourth ranked Aztecs in Viejas Arena. Prior to the current streak for the Aztecs, BYU had won 8 of 10.
- SDSU head coach Brian Dutcher followed Steve Fischer from Michigan to SDSU and served as the associate head coach from 1999-2017. Dutcher coached with Fischer at Michigan for nine years where he won a national championship and played a vital role in recruiting the Fab Five. He was the 2020 MWC Coach of the Year.
Head Coach – Brian Dutcher
- Alma Mater: Minnesota, 1982
- Division I Career Record: 77-26 (4th Season)
- Record at SDSU : 77-26 (4th Season)
- Series Record: BYU leads 48-26
- Home: 29-4
- Away: 18-18
- Neutral: 1-4
- Last Meeting: SDSU won 76-71, 11/09/2019
- The Aztecs’ current four-game win streak is its longest in the series
- BYU’s longest win streak lasted 11 games from 01/06/1990 - 01/12/1995
- TV: CBS Sports Network
- TV Talent: John Sadak (play-by-play) and Steve Lappas (analyst)
- Radio: BYU Sports Network, BYU Radio Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2, KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM
- Streamed Audio: BYURadio.org, BYUCougars.com/LiveRadio and the BYU Radio, BYUCougars and BYU Gameday apps
- Radio Talent: Greg Wrubell (play-by-play), Mark Durrant (analyst)
- Live Stats: BYUcougars.com