Portland, OR – The No. 12-ranked Oregon Ducks drove up to Portland to face the BYU Cougars in the Phil Knight Invitational at the Moda Center. It wasn’t their night as they were outplayed all game as BYU coasted to a surprisingly easy 81-49 win, Alex Barcello, easily the best player on the court tonight, was the game’s leading scorer with 25 points. Barcello, who has greatly improved since transferring from Arizona three years ago, connected on 4-of-6 from deep and shot 9-of-11 overall from the field.
The loss was Oregon’s largest since a 35-point loss at Stanford in February, 2019. It was the first time that the Ducks shot under 35 percent and their opponent shot over 55 percent since Head Coach Dana Altman’s first year in Eugene. BYU shot 59.6 percent from the field (34-of-57) including 40.9 percent (9-of-22) from deep. The Ducks, on the other hand, shot only 32.1 percent (17-of-53) and 21.4 percent (3-of-14) on 3s. Oregon committed 13 turnovers and had only seven assists, and incredibly only one assist in the first half. It was a game where nothing went right for Oregon, from missing layups and dunks, to shooting poorly from the field and getting drilled while on defense.
Oregon came out surprisingly flat of offense and were unable to get anything going the entire first half. They shot 5-of-26 from the field (19.2 percent) and went over six minutes without a field goal in the later portion of the half. BYU was playing good help side defense, but the Ducks just couldn’t create anything either outside (1-of-5 3s) or inside. BYU, on the other hand, was efficient on offense, shooting 57.1 percent (16-of-28) from the field including 4-of-9 from deep. Barcello connected on all five of his field goal attempts including three from deep in scoring 13 first half points. BYU had a 22-8 edge in points in the paint and 10-2 in points off turnovers. BYU led at the half 37-18.
The Ducks were more efficient on offense in the second half but it clearly wasn’t their night. The Cougars expanded their lead to 24 points early in the half and while the Ducks got the deficit to under-20 a number of times, they never made a serious run to even get the game close. Barcello continued his impressive showing, hitting his first three shots in the half to extend his streak to eight in a row before he missed from deep. The Cougars largest lead was 33 points near the end of the game.
Barcello, 6-2 super senior, led BYU in scoring, assists, steals, 3-point shooting and free throw shooting last year. He’s extremely underrated and should be in the mix for national honors this season. In his three games so far this year he’s averaging 22.0 points while shooting 74.1 percent from the field and 61.5 percent from deep on 4.3 attempts per game. He’s also made all his 18 free throw attempts.
BYU received excellent play from their backcourt, with Barcello and Te’Jon Lucas outplaying Oregon’s more highly rated guards. Lucas added 12 points, three assists and only one turnover over 30 minutes. 6-7, 235-pound freshman Fousseyni Traore showed off his athleticism and strength, scoring ten points on 5-of-6 shooting with six rebounds and two blocks, one of them impressive after getting off the floor and using an extremely quick jump.
Oregon will head to Las Vegas for the Maui Invitational where they will first face Chaminade on Monday night, then the winner of the Notre Dame – St. Mary’s game on Tuesday night. The opposite bracket includes opening round games with Wisconsin facing Texas A&M and Houston against Butler.