BYU Overpowered By No. 2 Gonzaga’s Offense In Loss

Jan 13, 2022, 11:13 PM | Updated: Jan 14, 2022, 12:07 am
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PROVO, Utah — BYU faced their toughest test of the season, falling to #2 Gonzaga in Spokane 110-84. The Cougars had a solid night on offense, but their defense was no match for the second best scoring offense in the nation. Gonzaga shot 69% from the field to cruise to the victory.

Alex Barcello led BYU with 19 points and four assists. The Zags were led by Drew Timme, who scored 30 points to lead all players. Andrew Nembhard had a double-double with 22 points and 12 assists.

Gonzaga proved why their one of the best in the country tonight against an undersized BYU team. It will be a learning experience for Mark Pope’s team, who fill get another shot at the Zags next month in Provo.

Zags Jump Ahead In First Half

Last year in Spokane, the Bulldogs got out to a big lead and BYU couldn’t recover. Tonight, it was the Cougars who jumped out to the early lead. BYU started the game with a 7-0 run to settle the early nerves. Gonzaga responded with a 10-0 run of their own and the pace was set. Both teams were ready to run the floor and score buckets.

Gonzaga led most of the first half, due in large part to their three-point shooting. The Zags entered tonight averaging just 35% from three on 23 attempts a game. They shot 10-15 in the first half tonight, the most three’s they’ve made in the first half all season. A 26-7 run in the middle of the half helped Gonzaga drive the lead to double-digits.

BYU was led by their senior backcourt of Alex Barcello and Te’Jon Lucas. Barcello led the Cougars with 14 points, shooting 3-4 from deep, with four assists. Lucas added eight points for BYU. The Cougars were trailing, but never let the the game get out of reach due to their scoring. After making just one three-pointer on Saturday night against Saint Mary’s, BYU made 10-18 in the first half in The Kennell.

The number two offense in the nation came to play early in this contest. Gonzaga averages 87.9 points per game this season. Gonzaga led BYU at the half, 61-49.

Bulldog Offense Too Much For BYU In Second Half

Gonzaga continued to attack on offense throughout the second half. Potential National Player of the Year candidate Drew Timme come out of halftime determined to make his mark. By the time he hit the bench for the first time in the half, Timme had 13 points on a perfect 6-6 from the field. BYU’s young frontcourt of Fousseyni Traore and Atiki Ally Atiki faced a baptism by fire with the Gonzaga frontcourt of Timme and potential Top-5 pick Chet Holmgren.

BYU couldn’t keep pace on offense in the second half. Although the Cougars had a good offensive night, their defense couldn’t get stops. It will be some tough tape to watch for Mark Pope’s team, but it’s a valuable learning experience for this squad.

Caleb Lohner found a rhythm in this game, a great sign for BYU moving forward. Lohner hasn’t had the season many expected for the sophomore, but he remains a key to BYU’s chances in the NCAA Tournament. Lohner had 12 points in the second half, 17 for the game with a couple made threes. Perhaps Lohner can build upon this performance against a tough opponent.

Gonzaga put their foot on the gas down the stretch and took out the starters with significant time left in the game. The lead for the Zags was close to 30 points towards the end of the game. BYU lost to Gonzaga, 110-84.

BYU’s Next Opponent

The Cougars (14-4) face another formidable conference foe on Saturday night. BYU travels to the Bay Area to face San Francisco (15-2). They’ll tip-off at 9:00 p.m. (MDT) at War Memorial at the Sobrato Center. You can listen to the game on KSL NewsRadio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM.

Dallen Graff is a KSL Sports Contributor. He is the Producer of Cougar Sports Saturday (SUBSCRIBE) on KSL NewsRadio. Follow him on Twitter.

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