SAN FRANCISCO (ABC4 Sports) – Alex Barcello scored 18 points, and the Cougars handed the San Francisco Dons their first home loss of the season with a 71-69 come from behind win at War Memorial Gymnasium Saturday night.
After trailing for 32 minutes of game time, the Cougars finished on a 10-3 run to escape San Francisco with a win. Since Mark Pope became the head coach of the Cougars in 2019, BYU has gone 78-straight games without losing back-to-back regular season games.
“This win was super important,” Pope said. “It’s a Quad 1 win against a great San Francisco team,” said head coach Mark Pope. “It’s always been a challenge to play here especially with how good their backcourt is. It’s a huge win for our team.”
With Gonzaga proving to be the dominant team in the West Coast Conference once again, BYU is now in control in the race for second place thanks to victories over USF and St. Mary’s in the last week.
The Cougars shot 43.1 percent from the field, 36.8 percent from behind the arc and 77.8 percent from the line in their comeback victory over the Dons.
Barcello led the Cougars with 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting. He made 3-of-8 attempts from three-point land, 3-for-4 from the charity stripe while also tallying seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
The Cougars erased a 10-point second half deficit and took the lead with 1:41 left on a pair of free throws by Te’Jon Lucas.
Caleb Lohner then scored on a feed from Barcello to give BYU a three-point lead. The Dons trimmed the deficit to two and had a chance to win the game in the final seconds, but Jamaree Bouyea’s three-pointer a the buzzer hit off the front of the rim.
Fousseyni Traore scored nine points on 4-of-8 shooting, grabbed nine rebounds, blocked two shots and had an assist in the win. Lohner scored timely buckets down the stretch to give him eight points on 4-for-9 shooting, five rebounds and a block to help the Cougars pull off the come-from-behind win.
Aside from Barcello and Lucas who recorded 18 and 12 points respectively, all seven other Cougars that saw action tonight scored at least one basket.
Bouyea led San Francisco (15-3, 2-1) with 19 points. Khalil Shabazz added 14 points and Patrick Tape scored 12.
USF came into the game as one of the top three-point shooting teams in the WCC, but made just 3 of 23 shots from beyond the arc.
BYU (15-4, 3-1 WCC) next hosts San Diego Thursday night at the Marriott Center.