Barcello leads BYU to 82-60 win over UVU

BYU Men’s Basketball won its third game in four days, beating cross-town rival Utah Valley 82-60 in the UCCU Crosstown Clash on Saturday.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our guys,” BYU head coach Mark Pope said. “It’s been a terrific three games in four nights. They fought the whole time, and I couldn’t be happier with where we are. We’ve got a long way to go. We got to get way better, but we made it through the first three-game set that we knew was going to be a big challenge for us, so we’re excited about that.”

Alex Barcello had a team-high 20 points and four other Cougars finished in double figures.

Barcello led a starting lineup that also included Brandon Averette, Connor Harding, Kolby Lee and true freshman Caleb Lohner in place of the injured Gavin Baxter. Baxter suffered an ACL injury in the previous game against New Orleans and is out for the season.

BYU opened the game with a high-low action from Lee to Lohner for a quick layup. UVU’s Trey Woodbury then knocked down a 3-pointer and the Wolverines took a 3-2 lead, but Lee followed with a hook shot on the other end to get BYU back in front 4-3.

After over four scoreless minutes, the Cougars tied things up at 6-6 on Matt Haarms’ first points in a BYU uniform: a dunk off a pick-and-roll with Jesse Wade.

Another Woodbury three then put the Wolverines up 9-6. Averette followed with a driving layup to bring the score to 9-8, but UVU went on a 9-0 run to lead 18-8 early in the first half.

Trevin Knell celebrates a made 3-pointer. He went 2-for-5 from deep against the Wolverines. (BYU Photo)

Trevin Knell stopped the run with a floater and and then hit a kick-out 3-pointer on the next possession to draw the Cougars within five, 18-13.

Barcello got on the board with a deep triple and Lohner followed with a jumper from the elbow on the next possession.

Barcello knocked down a corner three on the next trip down, giving BYU a lead it wouldn’t give up, 21-20.

Working around a screen from Lee, Barcello hit from close range and the Cougars had a 23-20 lead.

Spencer Johnson then scored on a fast-break layup to put BYU up five. Averette got a tough layup to go in and the Cougars led 27-22.

A Barcello three added to the lead and Gideon George knocked down a floater for a 32-24 Cougar lead. Connor Harding then hit a 3-pointer to extend the lead to double digits, 35-24.

The team celebrates with Alex Barcello after he hit a three at the first-half buzzer. Barcello finished with 20 points on the night and shot 5-for-6 from 3-point range. (BYU Photo)

Barcello hit his fourth three of the game with time winding down in the first half, and the Cougars took a 38-24 lead to the locker room. BYU went on a 30-6 run to close the half, holding UVU scoreless for the final 2:12 of the first period.

The Cougars shot 50% in the first half and held the Wolverines to 33% shooting. UVU’s Woodbury paced the Wolverines early with 15 first-half points, while Barcello led the Cougars with 14.

UVU opened the second half with a 3-pointer, but Harding answered on the other end with a three of his own for a 41-27 BYU lead.

Lee hit a floater with the shot clock winding down and Harding nailed a deep three to put the Cougars up 46-30.

Barcello then knocked down another corner triple, stretching the BYU lead to 19 at 49-30. A floater by Averette and a basket by Haarms put the Cougars up 56-38.

Averette added a 3-pointer and it became a 20-point lead, 59-39 BYU. Richard Harward scored his first points of the night on a reverse layup and Lohner hit two free throws for a 63-43 lead.

Brandon Averette crosses up a UVU defender. Averette had 11 points in the game. (BYU Photo)

Averette then hit a floater along the baseline and BYU led 65-46 with just under eight minutes remaining.

Knell knocked down a contested three to make it 68-46 Cougars, but UVU followed with a 12-0 run to cut the lead down to 10 at 68-58 in the final minutes.

Barcello finally ended the run with a pull-up jumper in the paint and Haarms went 1-for-2 from the free-throw line to put BYU up 71-58.

A no-look pass from Barcello to Haarms for an easy layup, two free throws from Knell, and a layup by Harward gave BYU a 77-60 lead, putting the Wolverines away for good.

The Cougars had trips to the free throw line by Harding, Barcello and Harward to close the game out 82-60.

BYU held UVU scoreless for the final 3:03 of the game, and limited the Wolverines to 36.8% from the field in the game. Woodbury (24 points) and Jamison Overton (21 points) led the way for the Wolverines.

The Cougars finished the game shooting 52.6% from the field and 44% from three. Averette had 11 points and five rebounds, Harding added 11 points, Knell contributed 10 points and five rebounds, and Haarms finished with 10 points in his BYU debut.

BYU will travel to Uncasville, Connecticut for the Roman Legends Classic next week. The Cougars play USC on Tuesday, Dec. 1, and either UConn or Vanderbilt on Thursday, Dec. 3.

The matchup against USC will be at 2:30 p.m. EST (12:30 p.m. MST). It will be televised on ESPN2 and broadcast on the BYU Sports Network on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143 and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.

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