BYU starts slow, finishes fast to take down Colorado Christian 63-45
PROVO, Utah — The BYU men's basketball team shook off a slow start to take care of Colorado Christian 63-45 in their lone exhibition of the 2021-22 season.
“I was super proud of our guys for staying locked in through frustration,” said BYU head coach Mark Pope. “It was everything we wanted. It challenged us a lot on the defensive end, and this team has been so good during training camp that we haven’t had a lot of those moments, so that was super important for us tonight. I'm so happy about that, and we're excited to get going on Tuesday.”
Alex Barcello led all scorers with 16 points on 6-11 shooting, 4-6 from behind the arc and four rebounds.
“Our intensity on the defensive end is what really stood out to me tonight,” Barcello said. “I thought our communication, the way we were moving, the way we were guarding improved throughout night, and we really doubled down on that coming out in the second half.”
Te’Jon Lucas had his first double-digit scoring night as a Cougar going 4-5 from the floor for 11 points, two rebounds, four assists and a steal.
After two scoreless minutes to start the game, senior guards Lucas and Barello scored back-to-back buckets to open the scoring for the Cougars.
The Cougars got off to a slow start going 3-9 from the field and 1-5 from behind the arc in the first eight minutes and with 12:30 left in the first half Colorado Christian led BYU by a score of 11-6.
BYU scored six straight points to take its first lead of the game with 9:08 to play in the first half. Fousseyni Traore entered the game and made an immediate impact with two emphatic blocks and two rebounds in his first five minutes.
The Cougars trailed 19-18 with 1:46 left in the first half before Barcello buried two straight threes to spark the BYU offense and give them a five-point lead, their largest lead of the game.
BYU took a 26-21 lead into the locker room at the half after going 10-23 from the field and 4-13 from three-point land. The story of the first half was turnovers and BYU’s woes from the line. The Cougars made only two of eight attempts from the stripe and turned the ball over 8 times in the first 20 minutes.
Coming out of the half, BYU put together a six-point run that extended the Cougar lead to double digits just four minutes into the second half.
Although BYU was quick out of the gate, CCU kept it within single digits until the under-twelve media timeout. Coming out of the the timeout, Trevin Knell and Spencer Johnson hit back-to-back threes to up the lead to 16.
After a Johnson steal that led to a Caleb Lohner eurostep bucket, Barcello got to his spot to knock down the elbow jumper. On the next CCU possession, Lucas skied for a block that he took the other way, threading the needle to Johnson who laid it up to give the Cougars a 21-point lead.
Seneca Knight grabbed his third rebound of the night and took it coast-to-coast for a two-hand hammer to extend the lead to 18 with four minutes remaining.
With four minutes left, Pope sent in Trey Stewart, Nate Hansen and Paora Winitana with who each got their first minutes as BYU Cougars in the 63-45 victory.
BYU men's hoops opens exhibition play against Colorado Christian Thursday
PROVO, Utah – With the regular season less than a week away, BYU men’s basketball will host Colorado Christian in an exhibition game on Thursday evening at the Marriott Center.
The game will be broadcast on BYUtv at 7 p.m. MST. 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 will play an exhibition game against a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) for the fourth time since 2014-15.
- Te’Jon Lucas scored 15 points to lead BYU Blue to a 68-62 victory during Friday’s Blue-White Scrimmage. Fousseyni Traori recorded a double-double for BYU White with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
- Alex Barcello is back for the Cougars after leading the team in points (16.1), assists (4.3), steals (0.9), 3-point percentage (47.7%) and free-throw percentage (85.6%) during the 2020-21 season where he earned AP All-America Honorable Mention and West Coast Conference First Team accolades.
- Caleb Lohner is back for his sophomore season after being named to the WCC All-Freshman team last season. The Dallas, Texas native pulled down a team-high 193 rebounds last year becoming just the sixth freshman in program history to lead the team in rebounding.
- Lucas is one of two transfers to join the Cougar roster this season. The Milwaukee, Wisconsin native averaged 14.9 points and 5.8 assists per game last season at Milwaukee after playing two seasons at Illinois. Seneca Knight comes to Provo after playing at LSU (2020-21) and San Jose State (2018-20).
Head Coach – Mark Pope
- Alma Mater: Kentucky, 1996
- Division I Career Record: 121-71 (8th Season)
- Record at BYU: 44-15 (3rd Season)
Colorado Christian Notes
- Colorado Christian was picked to finish 14th in the RMAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll.
- CCU opens the season with an exhibition against a Division I opponent for the sixth time in the past seven seasons.
- Second Team All-RMAC performer Andy Stafford returns for the Cougars after ranking second in scoring (17.8). He also led the team in rebounding (7.3) after transferring from Southwest Minnesota State.
- Ross Williams also earned Second Team All-RMAC honors in 2020-21 after scoring a team-best 19.6 points per game. Made a RMAC-best 61 3-pointers.
Head Coach – Liam Simmons
- Alma Mater: San Diego Christian, 2007
- Division II Record: 4-14 (2nd Season)
- TV: BYUtv
- TV Talent: Dave McCann (play-by-play), Blaine Fowler (analyst), Spencer Linton (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, BYU Cougars and BYU Gameday apps
- Radio Talent: Greg Wrubell (play-by-play), Mark Durrant (analyst)
- Live stats: BYUCougars.com