BYU Basketball beats Pepperdine for big win on senior night

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PROVO, Utah— BYU Basketball wrapped up the West Coast Conference game with a victory over Pepperdine, 75-59. The Cougars send their seniors to Las Vegas with a win in their final home game at the Marriott Center. BYU’s chances for the NCAA Tournament remain alive with the double-digit win.

Freshman Fousseyni Traore dominated Senior Night for BYU. Traore had a double-double of 25 points and 19 rebounds. His 19 rebounds set the individual game record for BYU freshman basketball.

BYU senior backcourt Alex Barcello and Te’Jon Lucas helped lead the charge, each scoring in double figures for the game. Lucas had 15 points and four assists, while Barcello had 10 points and eight rebounds.

BYU leads Pepperdine for most of the first half

Freshman Fousseyni Traore made his presence known early in the first half. The talented freshman had four early rebounds and a defensive block. He used his dabs of paint to find open teammates, picking up a few assists as well.

The three balls fell early for BYU and helped them to an early lead. In the first half, the Cougars shot 5-13 (38%) from deep. BYU also had a lot of eyes on the free throw line as Pepperdine fouls 10 in the first half. However, the team only made 3–8 (38%) of those free throw attempts.

Turnovers hurt BYU in the first half as Cougars 5 turnovers kept the game close. This, coupled with excessive whistling from officials, led to a long drought for both teams. Neither team scored a field goal for almost four minutes in the half.

BYU maintained their lead throughout the half. The Cougars were led by freshman Fousseyni Traore in the first half on Senior Night. Traore had nine points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Trevin Knell added eight points off the bench with two threes.

The Cougars took the lead at halftime, leading Pepperdine 36-33.

BYU Defense stops Pepperdine in the second half

It was a sloppy start to the second half for both teams as neither team could pick up any speed. Turnovers and missed shots plagued BYU and Pepperdine for the first five minutes of the half.

BYU held the Waves to another drought, as Pepperdine had a scoreless streak lasting over four minutes. The Cougars stepped up their defense in the second half, allowing just 26 points and limiting the Waves to just 27 percent shooting from the field.

Alex Barcello made a big three-pointer with less than 12 minutes left that blew the crowd away. It pushed the team forward. BYU built a double-digit lead and never looked back.

Fousseyni Traoré continued to dominate in the second half. Traore scored 10 points in a row single-handedly to help his team to double-digit progress. He led BYU in the second half with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Te’Jon Lucas, who had a good game for the Cougars, added eight points in the second half.

BYU’s lead extended to nearly 20 as the Cougars closed out the game. Injured seniors Richard Harvard and Gavin Baxter were able to enter the match in the last minute. The Cougars picked up a 75-59 win over Pepperdine.

BYU’s Next Opponent

The Cougars (21-9) finished their regular season in the West Coast Conference. BYU will next play in the West Coast Conference basketball tournament. The West Coast Conference Basketball Tournament will be held in Las Vegas, NV, March 3-8, 2022. BYU is expected to be the no. 5 seeds and would play their first match on Friday, March 4. As always, you can listen to the match 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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