PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Alex Barcello scored 17 points as the BYU basketball team won a hard-fought battle against San Diego State Friday night at the Marriott Center, 66-60.
Te’Jon Lucas added 13 points for the Cougars, while Fousseyni Traore had nine points and eight rebounds off the bench for BYU, which improved to 2-0 on the season.
Both teams struggled from the field, as the Cougars and Aztecs played great defensive games. San Diego State made just 3 of 22 shots from 3-point range, while the Cougars knocked down just 4 of 18 from beyond the arc.
“We had the ability tonight to focus on what really mattered,” said BYU head coach Mark Pope. “I like that we can be 4-of-18 from the three and still beat an unbelievably talented, long, athletic, top-30 team. This is an elite, NCAA game out here. No doubt about it. That’s as real as it gets.”
Tied at 54 with 3:05 to play, Barcello knocked down a contested three-pointer from the corner to give the Cougars the lead for good. Lohner had scored on an offensive rebound with 1:28 left to help BYU hold on.
BYU made 18 of 23 from the free throw line, while San Diego State struggled mightily from the charity stripe, making just 9 of 19 shots.
Barcello has now made 35 consecutive free throws, 15-shy of the program-record set by Tyler Haws in 2012. Against the Aztecs, Barcello passed the mark of 32-straight set by Michael Smith in 1989.
Neither team had more than a six-point lead throughout the tightly-contested game.
While San Diego State outrebounded BYU 18-16 in the first half, the Cougars gobbled up 26 second half rebounds on the way to outrebounding the Aztecs for the game 42-38. Lohner and Traore led BYU with eight rebounds a piece, with Seneca Knight pulling down six boards.
Nathan Mensah had 18 points for the Aztecs (1-1). Trey Pulliam added 12 points.
BYU next plays #13 Oregon in Portland Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m.