PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – In a rare home defeat, the BYU basketball team lost a heartbreaker to Boise State Wednesday night at the Marriott Center, 74-70.
BYU had not lost at home since falling to San Diego State in November, 2019, a span of 16 games.
Alex Barcello scored 22 points to lead the Cougars, but missed a potential game-tying three-pointer in the final seconds.
“My teammates coming out of the huddle, they all trust me,” Barcello said. “They were like, ‘if you see an opening, shoot that. Go win us the game.’ Not every shot falls, and I’m probably not going to sleep tonight. But there are a lot of things we need to improve on.”
Matt Haarms had 18 points for the Cougars, while Spencer Johnson chipped in 10 points off the bench.
“We knew they were a good team coming in,” BYU head coach Mark Pope said. “They’re very talented in multiple positions. They came out with some fire and passion to start out the game, and we could not respond. I was proud of my guys for hanging in there, fighting, battling through frustration and staying locked in, but we just weren’t quite good enough to get it done.”
BYU missed its first eight shots of the game as Boise State raced out to a 14-0 lead. The Cougars made just 6 of 18 shots in the first half, and just one three-pointer, as they trailed 30-21 at the break.
But the Cougars got hot in the second half, as Barcello scored 17 of his 22 points after halftime. Barcello tied the game at 48 with a jumper in the lane, and again at 70 with a layup with 37 seconds left to play.
BYU could never take the lead, however, as Wasatch Academy product Emmanuel Akot hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 15 seconds left for Boise State.
“If we can learn to dialed into the game and manage all the frustration and stay locked in, it gives us a chance to actually grow,” said Pope. “So, clearly we need to become a way better team. We have the capability of becoming a way better team.”
Barcello made four of six three-point attempts, but the rest of the team was 3 for 15 from beyond the arc.
RayJ Dennis led Boise State with 19 points, while Abu Kigab added 14.
Despite its slow start, BYU still shot 50 percent from the field for the game, while Boise State made 46 percent of its shots.
The Cougars (5-2) now welcome in rival Utah (2-0) to the Marriott Center Saturday at 4:00 p.m.