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BYU Basketball wins Thanksgiving game vs. New Orleans

BYU improves to 2-0 and will face UVU on Saturday

2019 Maui Invitational - Virginia Tech v BYU Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

BYU Basketball beat the New Orleans Privateers, 86-61 on Thanksgiving at the Marriott Center, improving to 2-0 on the season.

Alex Barcello led the Cougars again on the evening, scoring 19 points with 3 threes. He also recorded 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Four other Cougars ended the night in double figures, with Kolby Lee and Connor Harding scoring 12 each and Brandon Averette and Richard Harward each scoring 11. Harward led the team with 10 rebounds and recorded his first double-double as a Cougar. BYU was 10-27 from three on the game after a slow start from beyond the arc.

After a sluggish start against the quick and athletic Privateers, the Cougars went on a 9-0 run to go up 18-11, then led the rest of the way, taking a 41-27 lead into the break. BYU struggled from three in the first half, making only 4 of 13. Barcello led BYU with 9 points, while freshman Caleb Lohner had 8 first-half rebounds.

BYU was able to extend their lead in the second half and led by double digits the entire 20 minutes. The closest the Privateers got it in the second half was 11.

The game was dominated by the referees, who called 25 fouls against BYU and 26 against New Orleans. BYU will need to improve free-throw shooting moving forward, as the Cougars shot only 8-21 from the stripe. Lohner was the lone Cougar to foul out of the game.

Ball security was also sloppy on the evening, with 18 turnovers for BYU.

Gavin Baxter went down in the first half with an apparent knee injury and went straight to the locker room with the help of his teammates. He did not return, and may have seriously injured his knee. Baxter played 7 games in 2019-20, coming off a torn labrum injury to play at the end of the season and burn his redshirt to help the Cougars in their NCAA tourney goals. Fourteen different Cougars got playing time in the win, but Matt Haarms was not one of them, as his ankle injury kept him out again. Coach Pope said it is day-to-day, and BYU fans may see him debut this weekend or in the MTE against USC on Tuesday.

BYU plays Utah Valley on on Saturday at the Marriott Center. BYU leads the series 4-1 all time. UVU opened its season and beat Adams State Thursday afternoon by a score of 100-75. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT.