BYU men’s basketball rebounds with 74-68 road win over Missouri State

BYU’s dynamic backcourt duo of Alex Barcello and Te’jon Lucas took control late to propel BYU men’s basketball to a 74-68 road win over Missouri State on Saturday, putting the Cougars back on track following their overtime loss to UVU earlier in the week.

“(Winning) was really important,” Barcello said. “We really needed to bounce back.. We came out ready to win this game.”

Barcello and Lucas posted 21 and 17 points each to lead an improve shooting charge for the Cougars, who shot 48% from the field against the Bears compared to a dismal 31% at UVU.

The Cougars led for nearly the entirety of the contest with the Bears clawing back late— even cutting the deficit to just one point with under two minutes remaining— only for a responding Barcello jumper to all but seal the victory. Barcello and Lucas put the team on their back and did most of their damage in the second half, scoring 15 and 11 points each after halftime to protect the Cougar advantage.

“It’s relying on everybody,” head coach Mark Pope said. “Some guys made mistakes tonight and other guys picked it up to fix it. Our guys compete for each other and a lot of them made big plays.”

Spencer Johnson added 14 points off the bench while sniping three shots from beyond the arc and grabbing six rebounds. Lucas and Seneca Knight each swatted two blocks, while Barcello swiped four steals. BYU felt the absence of Gideon George and recently injured Gavin Baxter on the glass, being out-rebounded for the first time all season and surrendering 36 points in the paint.

The true road victory gives the No. 12 Cougars a “quad 1” win for their tournament resume while putting Pope’s squad at 7-1 a quarter of the way through the regular season. After three straight road outings, the Cougars head back to Provo to take on Utah State Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

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