BYU fell into a 15-2 hole at the start of the game and could never dig themselves out as they fell to #1 Gonzaga 82-71 Monday night in Provo. Jalen Suggs looked like a top 3 NBA pick with 24 points and big man Drew Timme added 20 points. Gonzaga looked like the number one team in the country and capitalized on BYU mistakes all night.
Turnovers have been an achilles heel for BYU this season and BYU gave up 19 turnovers on the night — every BYU starter had at least 2 turnovers. BYU cut it to 8 points in the second half a couple times, but every time BYU got a little momentum Gonzaga would respond with a run to squash any BYU upset hopes. Gonzaga stretched the lead too 22 with under 8 minutes to go but BYU fought hard at the end to push the Vegas spread of 11 points.
Alex Barcello led BYU with 20 points and guards Brandon Averette and Spencer Johnson each added 14 and 11 points, respectively. Caleb Lohner finished with 9 points and 8 rebounds and played solid defense on Gonzaga star forward Corey Kispert. Gonzaga shot 51% compared to BYU’s 48%, but the Zags won the turnover battle 19-12 and made the most of BYU’s carelessness.
BYU is still in a good spot to make the NCAA Tournament, but they now they don’t have a scheduled game until February 18 versus Pacific. San Francisco looks like they could be rescheduled in between there, or BYU could even schedule a non-conference game if they can’t play a WCC game.
BYU now stands at 15-5 on the season and 6-3 in the WCC.