The following notes and quotes are from BYU’s 75-74 loss to Gonzaga on Thursday evening at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah.
Series Results: Gonzaga leads 24-7
Cougs in Double Digits
Three Cougars ended the night in double-digits: Jaxson Robinson (16), Spencer Johnson (18) and Gideon George (17).
Forcing Turnovers and Gettin’ Steals
BYU capitalized on 16 Gonzaga turnovers for 21 points. The Cougars also had 12 steals to tie their second-highest amount of steals in a single game this season.
Feelin' it From Deep
The Cougars shot 52.0 percent from 3-point range as they were 13-of-25 from deep.
Robinson made four or more 3-pointers for the sixth time this season as the sophomore tied a career-high with five triples. He finished with 17 points, also tying a career-high.
Gideon Gettin’ It Done
Gideon George finished with 17 points, marking the 14th time he has scored in double figures this season. It is also the third time in five games against Gonzaga that he reached double figures.
Spencer Showin’ Out
Spencer Johnson also tied a career-high with 18 points, as the junior was 7-of-11 from the field and 3-of-4 from 3-point range. He also had five steals, making him the first Cougar to do that since January 4, 2020 when Jake Toolson had five against Loyola Marymount.
Wheelin’ and Dealin’
Rudi Williams had a season-high eight assists, the second-most by a Cougar this season.
- Assists: Rudi Williams (8)
- Steals: Fousseyni Traore (3)
- Points: Spencer Johnson (18), Jaxson Robinson (17)
- Field Goals: Spencer Johnson (7)
- 3-Point Field Goals: Jaxson Robinson (5), Spencer Johnson (3)
- Free Throws: Jaxson Robinson (2)
- Steals: Spencer Johnson (5)
Coach Mark Pope
“Clearly we are super disappointed, but I couldn’t be more proud of our guys. They played their hearts out tonight. We can execute a little better, make some better decisions and come up with better plays, but overall I thought the guys played really hard. They were composed and played really aggressively, so I am super proud of them. Congratulations to Gonzaga, they made the plays they had to down the stretch to win. We will move forward and get ready for our big game on Saturday against Pepperdine.”
On the press of late-game situations
“This is a new and young team. We had a few wildly-costly turnovers, but we are trying to learn right now. It’s really easy to get distracted in those late-game situations, and we have done that, but it’s a space where we will continue to grow and get better.”
What does tonight’s offensive game say about the future of this team
“These guys continue to get better and I think they’re hungry to get better. They have been incredibly committed to growing as a team, and they are finding ways to function a little bit better every week. We took a huge step back from the glass tonight, and that is a major issue for us. The glass has been a strength for us all season, and it needs to be a strength moving forward in the big games. But part of the growing process is taking some punches on the things you do well. Growing is messy, ugly and painful, but it’s also exhilarating, inspiring and fun. We have 48 hours until we have a massive game against Pepperdine to see if we can keep growing.”
On Saturday’s game against Pepperdine
“Pepperdine might be the best pure offensive team in the league, maybe by far. They are monsters. These young guys are just ballers who can score any way, at any level. At any given moment, all the guys out on the court can become extremely dangerous.”
On what the team can take away from the game
“It hurts for sure, especially because we were right there, and we put ourselves in a really good position to win this game and just couldn’t quite come through. Life and basketball never ask you ‘what happened’, but they do ask ‘how are you going to respond’. So, we are going to come tomorrow, and we are going to work and stay together. We are going to fix what we need to fix, act like pros about it, and move on to the next game.”
On what was working so well from the 3-point line
“We were getting them in transition tonight and pushing the ball down the floor really hard which was forcing them into rotations. Our guys did a really good job finding the open man tonight, and Jaxson [Robinson] had some really awesome shots.”