MORAGA, Calif. (ABC4 Sports) – BYU turned it on when it counted the most.
The Cougars closed the game on a 19-2 to run to beat St. Mary’s Thursday night, 62-52 for its first win in Moraga since 2014.
BYU trailed the Gaels 50-43 with 10:36 left in the game. St. Mary’s scored just two points the rest of the way, while the Cougars rolled to victory.
Alex Barcello was the only BYU player in double figures with 14 points. During the crucial 17-2 run, Brandon Averette scored seven of his nine points, while Gideon George added six of his eight.
The Cougars defense was the story, holding St. Mary’s to just 38 percent shooting from the field. BYU had seven steals, three by Averette and two each by Barcello and Richard Harward.
Matt Haarms added nine points and for BYU, while Caleb Lohner led the team in rebounding with nine boards.
The Cougars made just one three-pointer the entire game, by Trevin Knell, but still had enough offense to pull out the victory. BYU was 1 for 10 from beyond the arc.
“It was fun,” Averette said. “We knew it was going to be a battle. We knew that we were going to need to keep fighting. They weren’t going to go away, and neither were we. But, we knew what kind of game it was going to be coming in, and it was fun. Those are the kind of games you really live for, and that’s why we love playing this game”.
Tommy Kuhse and Quinn Clinton led St. Mary’s with 12 points each.
Because of postponements due to COVID-19, this was BYU’s second game in the last 22 days.
BYU (10-3, 1-1 WCC) next plays at San Francisco Saturday night at 6:00 p.m.