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First half struggles lead to BYU First Round exit in 73-62 loss to UCLA
INDIANAPOLIS — BYU men’s basketball (20-7, 10-3 WCC) was defeated by UCLA (19-9, 13-6 Pac-12), 73-62 in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday in Hinkle Fieldhouse.
"Congratulations to UCLA. They played great today," said BYU head coach Mark Pope. "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."
Alex Barcello led BYU with 20 points on the night, going 9-for-17 from the field, with five rebounds and an assist. Brandon Averette finished the night with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting and had two assists.
Johnny Juzang came into the night averaging 14.5 points per game for UCLA but finished with a game-high 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting. In the second half when BYU put an emphasis on Juzang, Jules Bernard stepped up, scoring 16 points and connecting on 6-of-13 attempts.
BYU ended the night hitting 49% of its field goals but only shot 18% from deep. In contrast, UCLA shot 48% from the floor and 42% from three. BYU committed 10 turnovers, including seven in the first half, while only forcing four turnovers on the defensive end. UCLA scored 11 points off those 10 turnovers and added a 13-7 second chance points advantage over the Cougars. Each team was only 9-for-16 from the free-throw line. BYU finished the game with a season-low five assists on 25 made baskets. The Cougars never led, trailing for 39 of the 40 minutes.
After 11 days off, it took the Cougars a while to get going offensively. BYU started slow, hitting just one field goal through the first 6:04 of the half. The Cougars were able to outrebound UCLA 19-13 and outscored the Bruins 16-8 in the paint, but UCLA hit 60% of its shots beyond the arc and took a 38-27 lead into the break. Juzang was responsible for half of his team’s points, scoring 19 on 8-of-11 from the field and 3-of-4 from deep. Barcello led the way for BYU with nine points. BYU only logged two assists on 11 made baskets while turning the ball over seven times. UCLA flipped those numbers, finishing the half with seven assists and just two turnovers.
BYU came out the of the half with an adjustment to place Connor Harding on Juzang, holding him to just two shot attempts through the first 11:11 of the half. A 10-0 BYU run ensued that cut a game-high14-point Bruin lead to just four, 43-39. UCLA began to attack the paint to stretch the lead back to 11. BYU’s shooting improved in the second half, but with just 3:44 left, 19 of the 25 second half points came from Barcello and Averette. Despite outshooting the Bruins by eight percent, BYU and UCLA each scored 35 points. In the final 20 minutes of play, BYU allowed 18 points in the paint, was outrebounded by two and hit just one three.
The Cougars end the season with an overall record of 20-7. With two seasons under head coach Mark Pope now in the books, the Cougars are 44-15.
BYU to face UCLA in NCAA Tournament first round Saturday
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – BYU men’s basketball will face UCLA (18-9, 13-6) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse Saturday. The Cougars and Bruins have faced each other 22 times all-time and have split the contests 11-11. They last met last season at the Maui Invitational, with BYU winning 78-63.
The game will be broadcast on CBS at 9:40 p.m. EDT. 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 (20-6, 10-4 West Coast Conference)
- The Cougars are 20-6, most recently falling to No. 1 Gonzaga in the WCC Tournament Finals.
- BYU is a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the second time. The last time was in 1981, when BYU and Danny Ainge made it to the Elite 8, BYU’s longest run in an NCAA Tournament.
- This is the Cougars’ 30th NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2015. BYU is one of only 25 teams to make 30 or more appearances in the tournament.
- BYU has a 15-32 record in the tournament, dating back to the first Cougar appearance in 1950. BYU had a stretch of six straight appearances from 2007-2012 and eight appearances in nine seasons from 2007-2015. This will be BYU’s first appearance under head coach Mark Pope, after last season’s team, which was a lock for the tournament, had to face the disappointment of the season ending abruptly and the tournament being cancelled due to COVID-19.
- BYU has wins this season over Loyola Marymount, Portland (twice), Pacific (twice), Pepperdine (twice), San Francisco (twice), Saint Mary’s (twice), Weber State, Texas Southern, No. 18 San Diego State, Utah, Utah State, St. John’s, Utah Valley, New Orleans and Westminster. The six losses were to USC, Boise State, No. 1 Gonzaga (three times) and Pepperdine.
- BYU is led by senior guard Alex Barcello who is averaging 15.9 points, 4.6 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game. He scored a career-high 29 points where he was 7-for-7 beyond the arc, a BYU record for most 3-pointers in a game without a miss, earlier this season against San Francisco.
- Brandon Averette and Matt Haarms, BYU’s other two senior leaders along with Barcello, are the next behind Barcello in scoring with 11.5 and 11.3 points per game respectively.
- Barcello is an honorable mention AP All-American.
- Barcello was named to the WCC First Team. Averette and Haarms were named to the WCC Second Team. Haarms was the WCC Defensive Player of the Year.
- All-WCC Freshamn Team awardee Caleb Lohner has led the team in rebounding all season, averaging 7.0 boards per game. Lohner had a breakout game offensively against Pacific, racking up a career-high 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. He followed that up with an 18-point performance against LMU, continuing to shoot lights-out from the field.
- BYU’s bench production has been big this season, outscoring opponents in 23 of 26 games played.
- The Cougars had a stretch where seven different players led them in scoring in eight games.
- BYU has never lost back-to-back games in the Mark Pope era and has the third-longest active streak of games played without consecutive losses at 60. The two teams above them are Houston and Gonzaga.
Head Coach – Mark Pope
- Alma Mater: Kentucky, 1996
- Division I Career Record: 121-70 (6th season)
- Record at BYU: 44-14 (2nd season)
UCLA Notes (18-8, 13-6 Pac-12 Conference)
- UCLA is 18-9, most recently defeating Michigan State 86-80 in an NCAA Tournament play-in game Thursday.
- UCLA is a No. 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
- The Bruins are making their 50th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, their first since 2018.
- UCLA came into the tournament led by Johnny Juzang, averaging 14 points per game. He’s one of five players averaging 10 or more points this season.
Head Coach – Mick Cronin
- Alma Mater: Cincinatti, 1997
- Division I Career Record: 401-192 (18th Season)
- Record at UCLA: 36-21 (2nd Season)
- All-Time Series: tied 11-11
- Last Meeting: BYU won 78-63 at the Maui Invitational last season
- All-Time NCAA Tournament Series: tied 2-2
- 1950 - NR BYU wins 83-62 over No. 7 UCLA
- 1965 - No. 2 UCLA wins 100-76 over No. 9 BYU
- 1971 - No. 1 UCLA wins 91-73 over No. 20 BYU
- 1981 - No. 16 BYU wins 78-55 over No. 10 UCLA
- In the NCAA tournament, BYU has faced UCLA more than any other opponent
- TV: CBS
- TV Talent: Andrew Catalon (play-by-play), Steve Lappas (analyst), AJ Ross (sideline)
- 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