BYU beats No. 18 San Diego St despite Mitchell’s 35 points

BYU forward Matt Haarms (3) celebrates after BYU defeated San Diego State in an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Alex Barcello scored 22 points and Brandon Averette hit a huge 3-pointer with 51 seconds left for BYU, which blew a 17-point lead before beating No. 18 San Diego State 72-62 on Friday despite Matt Mitchell’s career-high 35 points.

Mitchell was remarkable in scoring 26 points in the second half. He spurred a 14-0 run with three 3-pointers and then had a steal and dunk that tied it 61.

But BYU (7-2) regained control and handed San Diego State (5-1) its first loss. The Aztecs won their first 26 games last season and were the nation’s last undefeated team en route to a 30-2 record.

After Matt Haarms made a baseline jumper for a 63-61 BYU lead, Mitchell made one of two free throws. Averette then hit a 3 from straight on to put BYU up 66-62 with 51 seconds left.

Barcello made four free throws in the last 35 seconds, sandwiched around a missed 3 by Mitchell, and Connor Harding made two free throws for the Cougars, who had a 40-26 rebounding edge.

Haarms and Averette scored 10 points apiece.

Jordan Schakel had only three points on 1-of-9 shooting after scoring a career-high 25 points in an 80-68 win at Arizona State on Dec. 10.

BYU’s biggest lead was 35-18 late in the first half before Mitchell made two free throws to make it 35-20 at halftime. SDSU shot just 25 percent and had eight turnovers in the first 20 minutes. Schakel had no points and missed his only two shots.

BIG PICTURE

BYU: The Cougars used an impressive half-court offense in staying ahead of the Aztecs in the second half. Late in the first half, they got consecutive 3-pointers from Spencer Johnson and Barcello. The Cougars lead the series 49-25.

San Diego State: The Aztecs couldn’t handle BYU’s size early. They shot only 25% and had eight turnovers in the first half.

UP NEXT

BYU: Hosts Texas Southern on Monday night.

San Diego State: Faces Saint Mary’s at Cal Poly SLO on Tuesday.

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