Alex Barcello nearly unstoppable as BYU opens basketball season with a win

Cleveland State forces Cougars into 14 turnovers

BYU's Alex Barcello is bumped by a Cleveland State player in both teams' season opener at the Marriott Center in Provo on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. Barcello led all scorers with 24 points.

Alex Barcello almost couldn’t miss Tuesday night during BYU’s men’s basketball season opening win over Cleveland State at the Marriott Center.

Barcello went 5 for 6 from the field, 1 of 2 from behind the arc and a perfect 13 of 13 from the free-throw line to ring in a game-high 24 points in the 69-59 victory. He also dished out a team-high four assists.

Spencer Johnson added 13 points, the only other Cougars player in double digits. Caleb Loner paced the team on the glass with nine rebounds.

BYU led 34-27 at the half.

The Cougars left some room for improvement, however. They made 14 turnovers to Cleveland State’s six. They’ll have a chance to improve on that Friday when they host San Diego State in Provo.