BYU opened the season Tuesday night with a hard-fought 69-59 victory over Cleveland State — a Horizon League team that played in the NCAA Tournament last season — at the Marriott Center.

Here are three keys to the Cougars’ victory:

• Alex Barcello scored a game-high 24 points, including 13 of 13 from the free-throw line, and Spencer Johnson came off the bench to add 13. 

• Trailing 46-44 with 11:30 remaining, BYU went on a 9-3 run to take a lead that it would not relinquish. 

• While BYU shot only 38% in the second half, the Cougars hit 17 of 22 free throws over the final 20 minutes and outrebounded Cleveland State 41-31. BYU hosts San Diego State Friday night.