Balanced attack leads Cougars past Waves on senior night, 75-59
PROVO, Utah — BYU pulled away in the second half for a 75-59 win over Pepperdine on senior night at the Marriott Center on Saturday night.
"I’m really proud of our guys tonight,” said BYU forward Fousseyni Traore. “Today we played a good game against Pepperdine and finished the regular season strong. Today was a special day for us, especially for AB and Te’Jon. They have played a big role in leading this team, especially helping Atiki and I, and I’m super grateful for them.”
Traore was one of four players in double figures as he finished with a career-high 25 points and a BYU-freshman-record 19 rebounds as he went 9-of-10 from the field. Te’Jon Lucas added 15 points, Gideon George scored 11 points, and Alex Barcello finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.
The Cougars shot 46 percent from the field to the Waves’ 38 percent. BYU outrebounded Pepperdine 45 to 35, including 32 to 24 on the defensive glass. Most notable was BYU’s points in the paint domination, 40 to 18 in the Cougars’ favor.
A layup by Traore opened the night for BYU and was followed by a Lucas 3-pointer. Traore’s block on one end led to a George reverse layup on the other and an Barcello triple had the Cougars ahead 10-7 early.
After George knocked down a transition trey, Pepperdine scored back-to-back buckets before both teams then went scoreless for more than three minutes. George went 2-of-3 from the free throw line to break the scoreless streak, giving the Cougars a 15-13 lead with just under 11 minutes remaining.
Traore scored another layup, Trevin Knell knocked one down from deep and George hit Traore down low for a dunk, putting BYU ahead 22-16. Knell scored five-straight points, a trey from the right wing and a fast break layup, for a 27-20 Cougar lead.
Sending away a Pepperdine layup, Traore ran the court and thanks to a cross-court pass from Barcello to Lucas, scored a fast break layup of his own. Trading basketball with the Waves, Barcello knocked down a mid-range jumper, and Lucas followed that up with a reverse layup and a jumper from just inside the 3-point line, taking a 36-33 lead into the half.
Lucas broke a scoreless first minute and a half, scoring a crafty reverse layup with the shot clock winding down to put the Cougars ahead by five.
George added a bucket in the paint, Traore knocked down a pair of Traore free throws and Barcello hit a floater off of a loose ball, putting BYU ahead 44-35.
Atiki Ally Atiki slipped a screen, getting a two-handed jam off a Barcello assist. On the next possession down, a Barcello step-back triple got the lead back to nine, at 49-40, igniting the crowd and forcing a Waves’ timeout.
Traore then scored 10-straight points in a span of three minutes extending the BYU lead to 59-46 with less than eight minutes remaining. Coming out of a timeout, Lucas hit Caleb Lohner with an alley oop dunk on the break, putting the Cougars ahead 61-46.
Going 1-of-2 from the free throw line before knocking down a 3-pointer from the right wing, Lucas gave BYU a then game-high lead of 17 points, at 65-48. A floater by George, tip-in layup by Lohner and driving layup by Lucas retained that lead at 71-45 before two free throws and a baby hook by Traore extended it to 19 at 75-56.
Pepperdine would hit a 3-pointer in the final minute and Pope brought in senior Richard Harward and Gavin Baxter to be honored as the Cougars closed out a 75-59 senior night victory.
The Cougars will be the No. 5 seed in next week’s West Coast Conference Tournament. They’ll face the winner of the Thursday, March 3 matchup between Pacific and Loyola Marymount on Friday, March 4, at 6 p.m
BYU hosts Pepperdine on Senior Night
PROVO, Utah – BYU will honor four players on Senior Night when the Cougars host Pepperdine on Saturday, Feb. 26. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. MST at the Marriott Center.
Saturday’s contest will be broadcast on ESPNU. It will also be broadcast live on BYU Sports Network and BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2 and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
BYU Notes (20-9, 8-6 West Coast Conference)
- Alex Barcello, Te'Jon Lucas, Richard Harward and Gavin Baxter will be honored before Saturday's game.
- BYU picked up their 11th home win of the season on Thursday with a 79-59 victory over Loyola Marymount.
- Caleb Lohner was one of four Cougars in double figures as he recorded his second double-double of the season against the Lions. the Dallas, Texas native finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Head Coach – Mark Pope
- Alma Mater: Kentucky, 1996
- Division I Career Record: 141-80 (7th Season)
- Record at BYU: 64-24 (3rd Season)
Pepperdine Notes (7-23, 1-14 West Coast Conference)
- Pepperdine enters the final game of the regular season at 7-23 overall and 1-14 in West Coast Conference play following a 89-73 setback to Santa Clara on Thursday.
- Houston Mallette has scored in double figures in seven straight games as the freshman is averaging 13.4 points per game, shooting 44.5 percent from the floor, 38.2 percent from 3-point range and 77.8 percent from the free throw line.
Head Coach – Lorenzo Romar
- Alma Mater: UC San Diego, 1986
- Division I Career Record: 447-353 (24th Season)
- Record at Pepperdine: 96-113 (7th Season)
- Series Record: BYU leads 19-10
- Last Meeting, BYU won 91-85, February 12, 2022
- H/A/N: 11-2/7-6/1-2
- TV: ESPNU
- TV Talent: Eric Rothman, Dane Bradshaw
- 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, Mark Durrant
- Live stats: BYUCougars.com