Traore's double-double not enough in BYU's 75-70 loss to Butler
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — A season high 21 points from Fousseyni Traore wasn’t enough as BYU fell to Butler 75-70 on day two of the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis ion Thursday.
“Congratulations to Butler, I thought they made some really big plays down the stretch," head coach Mark Pope said. "I was proud of our guys. I thought we won in a lot of the areas that we wanted to win in but just couldn’t win the game. We will continue to get better."
Traore finished with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting, 5-of-6 from the charity stripe while grabbing 12 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Traore tallied five offensive boards, four assists and two steals on the night.
Gideon George and Rudi Williams also finished in double figures for BYU with 14 and 12 points respectively. George pulled down six rebounds, three steals and two assists while Williams went 50 percent from the field and assisted on two scores for the Cougars.
The Cougars shot 41.8 percent from the floor on the night, but struggled from behind the arc, going 3-of-20 from downtown. BYU scored 46 of their 70 points in the paint, forced 16 turnovers which turned into 21 points and scored 20 second-chance points off 17 offensive rebounds in the five-point loss.
With BYU trailing the Bulldogs 6-5, Butler went on an 8-0 run to take a 14-5 lead with 15:23 to play in the first period. The Cougars countered with back-to-back scores from Traore and a fast-break layup from Richie Saunders to cut the Butler lead to five.
By the under-12 timeout, the Bulldogs had again extended the lead to nine, 20-11 however the Cougars whittled it down to five courtesies of a Noah Waterman triple and free throws from Atiki Ally Atiki with 6:32 to play in the first.
After BYU cut the Butler advantage to three, the Bulldogs scored on three-straight possessions to again take a nine-point lead with 3:40 to go in the first. Out of the under-4 media timeout the Cougars cut the lead to six with a Saunders layup and a Williams fade away jumper.
Butler got a second-chance bucket with 58 seconds left in the first half to take a seven-point advantage into the break.
Traore blocked the first Butler shot of the second half and found Williams for a fast-break lay-up. On the ensuing possession, George pulled down an offensive rebound and reset to Williams who knocked down BYU’s second three of the game to pull within two with 18:56 to play.
On the next three possessions, George got a steal and took it the length of the floor for the score, Jaxson Robinson hit a three and Traore hit a jump hook to take a 42-37 lead.
After an Ally Atiki make gave BYU a one-point lead, the Bulldogs went on a 9-2 run to take a 54-48 lead with 11:20 to go. With the Cougars down six, Traore and Williams trimmed the lead to two, but Butler again extended the advantage to eight with 5:10 to play.
With 3:11 left, Robinson found Traore down low whose kiss off the glass brought BYU within three. On the next Butler possession, George picked off a pass, found Williams on a 3-on-1 who pulled the Cougars within one.
The Bulldogs hit a three with 2:08 to play to go up four before George scored three the old-fashioned way to again cut the lead to one with 1:54 left.
George had a look to tie the game with 18-second remaining, but the shot missed short, allowing the Bulldogs to close out a 75-70 win with free throws.
On the final day of the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis, BYU will take on the Dayton Flyers at 3:30 EST tomorrow. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU and can be heard live on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143, BYURadio.org/BYU Radio app or KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
Cougars face Butler on Thanksgiving Day in round two of Battle 4 Atlantis
PARADISE ISLAND – Turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie and BYU men’s basketball is on deck for Thanksgiving as the Cougars are slated to take on Butler on Thursday, November 24, in the second round of the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas. Tip is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. MST/6:30 p.m. MST.
Thursday’s contest will be broadcast on ESPN3. Greg Wrubell and Mark Durrant will also be on the call on the BYU Sports Network on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143 and KSL 102.7/1160 AM.
BYU Notes (3-2, 0-0 WCC)
- Spencer Johnson scored a career-high 18 points and was one of four Cougars to score double figures as the Cougars suffered their second loss of the season on Thursday ina 76-82 setback to USC.
- The Cougars made a season-high 12 3-pointers against the Trojans.
- Jaxson Robinson also had a career night against the Trojans, finishing with 14 points while knocking down four 3-pointers.
Head Coach – Mark Pope
- Alma Mater: Kentucky, 1996
- Division I Career Record: 148-84 (8th Season)
- Record at BYU: 71-28 (4th Season)
Butler Notes (3-2, 0-0 Big East)
- Butler dropped to 3-2 on the season following its 71-45 loss to No. 22 Tennessee in the final game of day one of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
- Jayden Taylor is the leading scorer for the Bulldogs as the sophomore is averaging 15.4 points per game. He has scored in double figures in all five games this season including back-to-back 18-point performances.
- Manny Bates fills the statsheet for Butler as the graduate student is averaging 11.6 points, 7.8 rebound and 3.2 blocks per contest.
Head Coach – Thad Matta
- Alma Mater: Butler, 1990
- Career Record: 442-156 (18th Season)
- Record at Butler: 27-10 (2nd season)
- Series Record: 0-1
- Last Meeting: Butler won 45-34, 12/19/1930
- H/A/N: 0-0/0-1/0-0
- TV: ESPN3
- TV Talent: Kevin Fitzgerald, Carolyn Peck
- Streamed Audio: BYU Radio Sirius XM 143, KSL 102.7/1160 AM, BYURadio.org, BYU Radio app
- Radio Talent: Greg Wrubell, Mark Durrant
- Live stats: BYUCougars.com