The following notes and quotes are from BYU’s 81-66 win against Pacific on Saturday evening at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah.
Series Results: BYU leads 18-7, including a 9-2 record on its home floor and six straight home victories.
Four is the Magic Number
For the second consecutive game and 11th time this season, four BYU players finished the game in double digits: Fousseyni Traore (19), Gideon George (12), Jaxson Robinson (11) and Rudi Williams (11).
Protecting the Ball
The Cougars’ nine turnovers marked the second consecutive finish with under 10 turnovers, marking the first time since last season against Utah and Texas Southern with consecutive games with under 10 turnovers.
Swatting and Stealing
Saturday’s first half marked the first time this season that BYU recorded at least five blocks and five steals (five each). The Cougars’ 12 steals tied the second-highest amount of takeaways on the season behind 14 steals vs. Westminster.
Strong Start on Perimeter Defense
Pacific’s 15.4-percent three-point shooting in the first half marked the fourth time the Cougars held an opponent under 16-percent from beyond the arc in a first half this season.
Double in Double-Doubles
BYU had two players with double-doubles in the same game for the first time since February 20, 2020 against Santa Clara (Jake Toolson, Yoeli Childs). Fousseyni Traore had 19 points and 12 rebounds while Gideon George had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
49 total fouls between both teams matched a season-high with December 10’s matchup against Creighton.
His sixth offensive rebound of the game moved him into a tie for 19th in school history in career offensive boards at 166. He finished with 12 rebounds and 19 points to register his sixth double-double on the season and 15th of his career.
Robinson’s two first-half blocks marked the fourth time he’s had two blocks in a game during his career. He also recorded one 3-pointer to extend his streak of making at least one triple for the 13th consecutive game.
Notched his second double-double of the season and fifth of his career. Reached double figures (12 points) for the 16th time this season after his second 3-pointer of the evening. His 10 rebounds matched a season-high.
Saunders finished with nine points, all of those coming in the first half which tied a career-high.
Hall’s four assists tied him with Ryan Cuff (1992-93) for ninth on the list of most assists by a freshman in program history at 86.
- Rebounds: Gideon George (10)
- Free throws: Richie Saunders (4)
- Offensive Rebounds: Fousseyni Traore (7)
- Rebounds: Trey Stewart (3)
- Blocks: Jaxson Robinson (2)
Head Coach Mark Pope
“We can feel ourselves getting better, and we played better tonight,” said BYU head coach Mark Pope. “Our communication and defensive intensity are two things we’ve been built on, and we're starting to function better offensively as well. We didn't shoot great tonight, but we got great looks and those shots are reproducible.”
On those who stepped up tonight
“We had three guys sit with two fouls early in the game. Spencer, Fouss and Noah were out, so we expanded the rotation. It’s a real luxury not to have to tighten the rotation and be able to expand it when we need to like that. Richie and Trey gave us tremendous minutes in the first half. I’m super proud of those guys. We need everybody and everybody is gonna have the opportunity to make an impact on the game and those guys made a huge impact.”
On the importance of halftime
“We’ve probably had a lot of our success in the first four minutes coming out of halftime, but this was probably our best four-minute stretch before entering the half. Halftime was really important to stay focused. The guys felt good and confident. I told them we needed to come out and go deliver.”
Forward Gideon George
On the team performance
“I’m really proud of the guys tonight for putting up a fight tonight. We all bonded and Fouss got a double-double, he was a beast on the offensive glass and protected the ball. We made plays for our teammates -- Rudi, Spence and I, we can go down the list. Richie brought energy, Trey came in and played great defense, so I’m really proud of this group.”
On his improved shooting
“I’ve just been doing the same thing and sticking to my routine. I need to keep trusting the shots are going to fall because I’ve put in the work.”
Guard Rudi Williams
On the team’s defensive effort
“The steals helped us get out in transition and accumulate easy baskets. Those plays provide a spark for us.”
On his team’s goals for the rest of the season
“I want us to keep growing and getting better and get some momentum heading into Vegas as we finish these last conference games. I feel like when we get to Vegas, no one's going to want to play us in that first game. Teams realize that maybe the first time when we played them we may have dropped the game, but they know we're a dangerous team and we've definitely gotten better since the last time we've seen them.”