Mark Pope looks on as Alex Barcello walks the court against San Francisco. (BYU Photo)

Clock strikes midnight for BYU men’s hoops, stumbling 75-63 to San Francisco

BYU men’s basketball ran out of luck in a 75-63 loss to San Francisco Saturday night in Las Vegas, falling short of a desperately-needed win to solidify the Cougars’ NCAA Tournament resume.

It was do-or-die for Mark Pope’s motley crew, with a Quad One win over the Dons widely believed to be just enough to push the Cougars into March’s big dance.

Unfortunately for Pope’s tournament hopes, not only did BYU lose by double digits, but the Cougars didn’t appear anywhere near tournament caliber. Some might say that’s been the case since the start of the new year.

BYU never led after the six-minute mark of the first half, coughing up 10 turnovers, shooting a dismal from 15% from three and losing the rebounding battle 41-37.

Fouss Traore was a rare bright spot for the Cougars, posting a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Alex Barcello did his best to will BYU into the conference semifinals with 18 points, but a 5-of-24 combined shooting mark from remaining starters Caleb Lohner, Te’Jon Lucas and Gideon George dug the Cougars into a hole they could never escape from.

With their conference tournament stay ending earlier than they’d hoped, the Cougars will need a heavy helping of bubble chaos for any sort of reasonable chance for an at-large March Madness bid.

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