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Postgame Notes: BYU 87, Nicholls 73

The following notes and quotes are from BYU men’s basketball 87-73 win over Nicholls State Saturday evening at the Marriott Center in Provo. 

Series Results: BYU leads the series 2-0

Attendance: 13,745

TEAM NOTES

Taking Advantages of the Freebies

The Cougars shot a season-high 27 free throws on Saturday, going 19-of-27 from the charity stripe. 

Board Man Gets Paid

Most first-half rebounds this season with 27, most offensive rebounds with 19, and most total rebounds with 53.

It’s Giving Season

BYU had a season-high 19 assists including a season-high six from Rudi Williams. 

Cougars Find Their Groove

The Cougars posted a season-high 87 points against the Colonels improving to 21-3 when scoring 80 or more points. 

Protect This House

With Saturday’s win over the Colonels, BYU has now won 11 straight non-conference home games dating back to 2020. 

Cougs At The Half

For the first time this season and 12th time during the Pope era, BYU won a game after trailing at halftime. 

Bench Showing Out

BYU scored a season-high 34 points off the bench, marking the second straight game that the second unit has eclipsed 30 points. 

Getting Everyone Involved 

All 10 players that played in Saturday’s game scored at least four points, marking the third consecutive game that all players that saw minutes scored. 

 

PLAYERS NOTES

Richie Rich

Richie Saunders had a career high night against the Colonels, pulling down a nine rebounds with four of those coming on the offensive glass. He also finished with a career-high nine points.

Not Trying ‘Traore’ing Too Hard

Fousseyni Traore scored 15 points on the night, going 6-of-8 from the field and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe.

Tricky Trey

Trey Stewart had a career high night with two blocks and 16 minutes. He also tied his career-high in points with four. He also tallied two assists to match his career high. 

Rudi, Rudi, Rudi

Rudi Williams dished a season-high six assists while also going 6-of-6 from the charity stripe for 10 points. 

The Climb Continues

Atiki Ally Atiki was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field en route to tying his career-high with 10 points. 

Go, Go Gideon George

Gideon George continues to fill the statsheet for the Cougars  as the senior recorded his fourth double-double of the career with 15 points and 10 rebounds. 

BYU CAREER HIGHS

  • Assists: Rudi Williams (6)
  • 3-Point Field Goals: Jaxson Robinson (2)

CAREER HIGHS

  • Points: Trey Stewart (4), Richie Saunders (9), Atiki Ally Atiki (10)
  • Field Goals: Richie Saunders (3) 
  • Free Throws: Rudi Williams (6)
  • 3-point Field Goals: Richie Saunders (2)
  • Offensive Rebounds: Richie Saunders (4)
  • Rebounds: Richie Saunders (9)
  • Blocks: Trey Stewart (2)
  • Assists: Trey Stewart (2)
  • Minutes Played:Trey Stewart (18)

QUOTES

Mark Pope

On rebounding tonight

“We had 11 offensive rebounds in the first half and it saved us because we weren’t playing great, weren’t shooting great and had nine turnovers, so our positive takeaway was our rebounding. Super proud of the guys’ effort there because that is something really important that we should always take advantage of.”

On shooting 87 points while shooting 24 percent from the three

“Our points on the offensive glass and the pace of the game contributed most to this being a high-scoring game. We had 27 free throws, which was good for us and was the most we have had all season. I think we gained a lot of extra possessions from the offensive glass and we did get eight threes, which were super important. I actually loved our shooting tonight, we did an unbelievable job earning shots for one another.”

On Gideon George’s importance on BYU’s offense

“He is super important. I mean he led the team in rebounds tonight and only had one turnover, which is huge. When he’s protecting the ball and making plays for his teammates, it makes a huge difference for us.”

On Atiki Ally Atiki’s progress

“He was so patient tonight, even in messy plays. I thought Atiki’s patience and poise in the paint after the catch was spectacular.”

Rudi Williams

Opening Statement

“Overall, I feel like we did a good job sharing the ball. We made a few catch-and-shoot threes and a lot of power plays. I feel like another department we are always getting better in is turnovers.”

On taking on a leadership role

“The way I go about it is having the mentality of helping my guys get better because we are a young team, so I feel like I have taken the duty of teaching them things they have never dealt with before, and how college basketball works. I’m growing in that department as well because this is the first time I have been asked to fulfill this role, but I am taking the challenge on.”