BYU Basketball: Caggers overcome ‘desperation’ to win


Unlike Wednesday’s season opener, the 3-pointers were not falling at a record-setting clip for the BYU thanksgiving night at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah.

Meanwhile, there were many other things that surrounded the Cougars, including New Orleans’ quick, aggressive style and a game that featured unsatisfying speed and a total of 51 individual fouls.

It was a struggle for the Cougars to get into any kind of rhythm.

“Super frustrating.” This game of basketball can be so disappointing, ”said coach Mark Pope. “It was difficult to get into the flow of the game because of the whistle. It was just a mountain of despair. I told the people at the media timeout of eight minutes that what you are really fighting for is disappointment. I felt friends did a great job of managing it. ”

BYU relied on its size advantage against the Privateers, controlling the painters. And in the end, the Cougars (2–0) won a somewhat ugly 86–61 victory.

“This is what you are seeing under pressure from young teams,” Pope said. “We are going to learn a lot from this. We are really lucky to have two completely opposite opponents in the last two nights. Just looking different is going to be huge for our growth. This is what we need to do. Obviously, we are not close to the team we need or are going to be. But you can see what a really, really special team can be. “

Guard Alex Barcello scored a game-high 19 points, while center Richard Herward came off the bench to record a double-double with 11 points, including 10 assists, including seven offensive boards.

As a team, BYU outscored New Orleans 54-28 and had 26 second chances.

“We managed to take a lot of shots today,” Pope said. “Aggressive Glass has to be an important part of this team. This is really important for us. “

For the second straight night, BYU played without 7-foot-3 grad transfer Matt Harram, who was wearing a boot to his leg due to an ankle injury.

Late in the first half, forward Gavin Baxter sustained a knee injury and did not return to the game.

Harram wore a boot to his leg due to an ankle injury and was placed on the edge.

“I’m really grateful that we were able to survive these two games without him,” Pope said. “I’d like to get him some practice reps before playing.”

Baxter, who missed the most last season with a shoulder injury, went down, defending in the paint, holding his knee.

“It’s always difficult to see teammates going down,” guard Connor Harding said. “It broke my heart.” As a team we have to step up. Hopefully, that’s fine. “

Pope said Baxter would undergo an MRI.

“We are really hopeful and are praying that this will be resolved quickly,” Pope Baxter said.

Speaking of frustration, the Cougars did not have as many open forms on Thursday as the night against Westminster. After knocking down 18 3-pointers in the season opener, BYU shot 10 of 27 from 3-point range against New Orleans. From the free-throw line, the Cougars hit only 8 of 21.

The Cougars enjoyed a balanced scoring production as Colby Lee and Connor Harding contributed 12 points, Brandon Everett had 11, Trevin Nell leaped 8 and Caleb Lohner scored six 6s.

Lohner, who started in the second half in place of Baxter, also had nine rebounds.

“I felt he did an incredible job on the glass,” Pope said of Lohner. “He was really solid defensively. I believe in him I am excited to keep growing it. ”

As a team, BYU caught plenty of rebounds and had a bunch of putbacks that helped pull away from New Orleans.

“I think we did a lot of hard work. Everyone was getting a board. I know that Caleb is a complete monster, ”Harvard said. “I am very excited to have the man in the squad to see how he is able to contribute right away. Colby was having rebellions. I think we are a threat when it comes to offensive boards and defensive boards because we have a lot of people with athleticism and the ability to get rebounds. ”

BYU is set to host Utah Valley University on Saturday (7 pm, MST, BYUtv).

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