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BYU Basketball beats St. John’s in Roman Legends Classic

NCAA Basketball: Roman Legends Classic-Southern California at Brigham Young David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

BYU Basketball beat the St. John’s Red Storm 74-68 Wednesday afternoon in the second game of the Roman Legends Classic, improving to 4-1 on the season.

St John’s went on a 9-0 run, only for the Cougars to respond with a 9-0 run of their own putting them up 18-12 at 9:31 in the half. BYU shot much better in the first half, although still only shot 36.4 percent from the field and 25 percent from three. Alex Barcello led all scorers in the half with 12. Matt Haarms had three first half blocks, bringing his season tally to seven. BYU led 29-23 at the half.

St John’s opened strong in the second half and cut the lead to 29-28. Barcello and Connor Harding responded with back-to-back threes and BYU then led 35-32 after a couple of Red Storm buckets. St Johns picked up the pace in the start of the half, and the game was back and forth. St John’s chipped away at the BYU lead, eventually drawing even with the Cougars at 43. Caleb Lohner responded with an and-1 bucket to put the Cougars back up three. BYU would extend to a nine-point lead, but that lead dwindled to two. Another 7-0 run brought the Cougars’ lead back to 9.

Barcello finished the game with a game-high 20 points on 8-11 shooting, including 3-6 from three. BYU ended with four others in double-figures, as Gideon George had 13 and Brandon Averette had 12, with Connor Harding and Trevin Knell each adding 11. George also had 15 rebounds, recording his first double-double of his BYU career.

The Cougars shot much better, recovering from yesterday’s outing. BYU shot 45 percent from the field (27-60) and 37 percent from three (10-27). BYU had 44 rebounds, but also had 19 turnovers.

BYU returns to Utah to play at Utah State on Saturday on Logan. Utah State Head Coach Craig Smith tested positive on Wednesday and will miss the game. However, Utah State will allow 1,628 fans into the arena.

BYU has won eight straight against the Aggies. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 P.M. MST.