Nathan Mensah made two of four free throws down the stretch against BYU. Photo credit: Screen shot, BYUtv

San Diego State kept pace with Brigham Young University in Provo Friday, but ultimately couldn’t overcome the Cougars, falling 66-60.

The Aztecs (1-1) trailed for most of the game, but were down only 32-30 at the break, as Trey Pulliam hit a jumper with 27 seconds left in the half.

SDSU tied the game after returning to the court, but ended up chasing BYU for most of the second half.

The Aztecs briefly went ahead 54-53 on a 3-point jumper from Keith Dinwiddie with just over six minutes remaining. But after making a free throw, Cougar Alex Barcello answered two minutes later with a 3-pointer of his own, to put BYU (2-0) ahead for good.

San Diego State tried to launch a series of 3-pointers in the last three minutes of the game, but misfired on them all.

Nathan Mensah led all scorers with 18 points, matching his career high, and added eight rebounds. Barcello paced BYU with 17.

Head coach Brian Dutcher praised his team’s grit and fight.

“I thought we competed hard enough to keep ourselves in the game and give ourselves a chance to win,” he said.

The Aztecs return home to play Arizona State (1-1) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

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