Hall's 18 points lead BYU past No. 17 San Diego State 74-65

Dallin Hall scored 16 second-half points and led five Cougars in double figures as BYU men’s basketball took down No. 17 San Diego State 74-65 on Friday night at the Marriott Center.


PROVO, Utah — Dallin Hall scored 16 second-half points and led five Cougars in double figures as BYU men’s basketball took down No. 17 San Diego State 74-65 on Friday night at the Marriott Center.

"I thought we were terrific in transition events, truly terrific,” said BYU head coach Mark Pope. “When we could get something going in transition, there was just a couple of feet more space, and it was really effective for us. I was proud of our guys that they kept trying to find ways to get past defenders and have some attack flavor. It was enough tonight."

BYU opened down 7-0 but found its footing and pulled ahead to a 33-28 halftime lead. San Diego State fed off BYU turnovers to start the second half and led by as many as four in the period before the Cougars retook the lead at 51-50. BYU never looked back, using stingy defense, key three-point makes and accurate free-throw shooting to hold on down the stretch.

Hall scored 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field including 4-of-8 from deep to go along with three assists. While Hall ruled the second half, Robinson reigned in the first for BYU. The senior sharpshooter scored all 12 of his points in the opening period while also registering four boards and a block.

Fousseyni Traore put up 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists while Spencer Johnson scored 10 along with seven rebounds. Richie Saunders came off the bench to score 12 on 3-of-4 from the field and 6-of-6 from the line.

San Diego State out-shot BYU 45 to 43 percent from the field though the Cougars’ 37 percent from 3-point range outdid the Aztecs’ 28 percent. BYU came up big from the charity stripe in the closing minutes and shot 75 percent for the game. The Cougars outrebounded San Diego State 42-32 and flexed their depth, outscoring the Aztecs 42-9 in points off the bench.

The hard-fought, physical game saw Cougars and Aztecs alike sprawled on the hardwood wrestling for loose balls from start to finish. Thirty-seven combined fouls were assessed while three players fouled out across both teams.

First Half

San Diego State opened the game hot on its way to an early 7-0 lead. After empty possessions to start the game, Spencer Johnson scored each of BYU’s first two baskets, both 3-pointers to cut the Aztec lead to 7-6. Johnson continued his strong play to start the game with an assist to Knell on a transition lay-in that kept the Cougars within two at 10-8.

Act two of the first half saw Robinson step into the spotlight. Robinson checked into the game at the 13:43 mark and immediately gave BYU a spark with a pull-up jumper that ended a 2-minute BYU scoring drought. Robinson then came up with an Aztec turnover and pushed the ball ahead to Saunders for a transition lay-in. The Cougars were then within one at 15-14 with 10:40 until half.

Robinson capitalized on another San Diego State turnover and banked in a 3-pointer to give BYU its first lead at 17-15. The Aztecs responded with a triple of their own but BYU came swinging back with its first real scoring burst of the game.

A 10-0 Cougar run began with multiple BYU defenders diving to the floor after a loose ball. The Cougars regained possession and turned it into points with Traore backing down his man and scoring to put BYU up 19-18.

Robinson struck again with a personal 5-0 run off a turnaround jumper and transition corner triple. The senior sharpshooter drained another turnaround jumper to put BYU up six then swatted away an Aztec shot on the other end. Trey Stewart proceeded to give BYU a half-high nine-point lead at 29-20 with a transition three.

BYU’s 10-0 run came over a stretch of nearly four minutes and was fueled by defense that forced three Aztec turnovers and held the visitors to 0-of-4 shooting.

San Diego State engineered a 6-0 run near half’s end but two free throws from Knell and a putback score from Traore kept BYU in front 33-28 at the break.

Robinson led BYU with 12 points at the half as he shot 5-of-8 from the field along with four rebounds and a block. The Aztecs shot 42% from the field to BYU’s 37% but BYU registered 36 percent shooting from distance to San Diego State’s 30. The Cougars forced eight Aztec turnovers and outrebounded San Diego State 21-17 for the half.

Second Half

Three BYU turnovers put the Cougars off schedule to open the half but physical post play from Traore helped BYU overcome a 46-42 deficit. The 6’6 forward maneuvered through the prying hands of defenders and scored two of BYU’s first three baskets to start the half.

The next sequence of the game belonged to Saunders. The sophomore guard came off the bench at the 15:50 mark and quickly made an impact with a steal and one-hand flush on the other end to even the game at 40. Back-to-back scoring possessions for San Diego State put the visitors up 46-42 with 12 minutes to play. Saunders then took advantage of a Traore block and swooped to the basket for a reverse lay-in that brough the score to 46-44.

Sound defense from Hall turned into a Knell rebound that fed Johnson for a scoring a lay-in on the other end to tie the game at 46. Traore then struck again from the paint and found Hall open for a corner trey on the ensuing possession to put BYU up 51-50. Atiki Ally Atiki came off the bench and ripped the ball away from San Diego State on its next trip down the floor. Hall was quick to score after the turnover with a transition triple that extended BYU’s lead to 54-50 with 6:34 to go.

Staunch defense from Traore in the paint helped keep the Aztecs empty on offense yet again and led to a transition corner trey from Knell. BYU’s lead was then 57-50 with 5:25 remaining.

San Diego State responded with a 5-0 run but came up empty on two critical trips to the free throw line while Hall and Saunders each subsequently shot two-of-two from the line.

Back-to-back buckets from Hall, one a mid-range jumper, the next a step-back 3-pointer, bolstered BYU’s lead to 68-59 with a minute to go.

BYU returns to the Marriott Center floor on Nov. 15 versus Southeastern Louisiana. Watch the Cougars face the Lions at 7 p.m. MST on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ or tune-in for live play-by-play on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143, BYURadio.org/BYU Radio app or KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.

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