Career high for Atiki not enough as Dons hand BYU it’s first home loss of the season

Atiki Ally Atiki attemps a shot against USF Thursday Photo Courtesy of BYU Athletics

By Ronald Weaver III

Provo, UT – Both teams entered Thursday’s game having lost two of their last four games. The Cougars were looking to snap a two game losing streak following a tough road trip, as San Francisco looked for its third Quad 1 victory this season.

BYU (17-7, 5-4 WCC) got off to a hot start to begin the first half taking the early lead. Alex Barcello scored the first eight points that included two 3-pointers as the Cougars got off to a 12-2 run, which made the lead 12-4 in the first five minutes of the game.

The Dons (18-5, 5-3 WCC) senior guard Jamaree Bouyea made a 3-pointer that tied the game 16-16.

“We spent six minutes in places we don’t recognize.” Were the words Coach Mark Pope used in the post game to describe the scoring struggles as the Dons held BYU to one field goal in the last eight minutes of the first half.

The Dons closed the first half on a 24-7 run with a 40 foot 3-pointer from Bouyea that took the air out of the Marriott Center. San Francisco led 40 to 25 at the half.

Atiki Ally Atiki had a career high 10 points of 5-of-5 shooting to go along with four blocks. This is the freshmans second game where he shoot 100% from the field.

The Cougars fought back in the second half cutting the lead to 10, but it wasn’t enough.

Following a sideline altercation between sophomore forwards Zane Meeks and Caleb Lohner. The USF forward shoved Lohner into the bench, which halted the game for more than five minutes.

Both forwards were assessed technical fouls that offset. By this time, the Cougars comeback was too late. The Dons were able to re-group as they went on 11-1 run to wrap up their impressive performance as they defeated the Cougars 73-59.

BYU has now lost three consecutive games, and is currently in sixth place in the West Coast Conference.

BYU’s next home game will be against Gonzaga February 5th at 8:00pm MST.

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