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3 keys in the BYU Cougars’ 82-77 OT win over the Pepperdine Waves in the WCC semifinals

SHARE 3 keys in the BYU Cougars’ 82-77 OT win over the Pepperdine Waves in the WCC semifinals
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Brigham Young Cougars guard Spencer Johnson (20) wrestles Pepperdine Waves guard Colbey Ross (4) for the ball as BYU and Pepperdine play in semifinal West Coast Conference tournament basketball action at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Monday, March 8, 2021.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The BYU Cougars escaped the semifinals of the West Coast Conference tournament late Monday night in Las Vegas, beating the Pepperdine Waves 82-77 in overtime.

Here are three keys from the contest.

  • After missing a free throw with five seconds left in regulation that would have given the Cougars a 3-point lead and then allowing Pepperdine’s Colbey Ross a jumper to send the game into overtime, Spencer Johnson came up with a huge steal with 14 seconds to play and BYU up just two. Alex Barcello was fouled and made both free throws. It still wasn’t over at that point, but it was as close as the Waves would get the rest of the way.
  • BYU overcame 21 turnovers and a poor shooting night by making defensive plays down the stretch when it mattered most. Matt Haarms was particularly effective late and finished the night with 18 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and two assists.
  • Alex Barcello was quiet in the second half but made a big bucket at the end of regulation and then scored eight of the Cougars’ 10 points in overtime, including the final six, all of which came from the foul line.