15 3-Pointers leads BYU to 105-48 win over Southeastern Louisiana

Eight Cougars made at least one 3-pointer as BYU men’s basketball jumped out to a huge early lead and never looked back, taking down Southeastern Louisiana 105-48 on Wednesday night at the Marriott Center.

Spencer Johnson attempts a 3-pointer vs. Southeastern LouisianaSpencer Johnson attempts a 3-pointer vs. Southeastern Louisiana

PROVO, Utah — Eight Cougars made at least one 3-pointer as BYU men’s basketball jumped out to a huge early lead and never looked back, taking down Southeastern Louisiana 105-48 on Wednesday night at the Marriott Center.

“We are super excited about a bunch of statistical numbers," said BYU head coach Mark Pope. "The thing I was most excited about was our team leadership. We had an emotional game on Friday and we’ve been going long and hard. We had an opponent that is picked to win their conference, but certainly did not come in here with the cachet that San Diego State did. There’s this human nature of a let down. Our leaders and all the players on our team did an unbelievable job of taking this incredibly seriously.”

BYU opened up 11-2 and didn’t stop there, going on a season-high 21-0 run shortly after to go up 32-4. Up 52-17 at half, the Cougars only widened the lead, extending it with fast-paced play and transition three-point makes.

Trevin Knell and Fousseyni Traore scored 18 points apiece. Knell went 4-of-8 from behind the arc while Traore finished 6-of-7 from the field and 2-of-2 from deep. Traore’s first 3-pointer made him the program’s all-time leader in field goal percentage at 59.8 percent (minimum 300 FG made), surpassing Alan Taylor. Both paced the Cougars throughout the game as the pair of juniors each had 11 points at the half.

Jaxson Robinson tallied 17 points and four rebounds to go along with three triples. Spencer Johnson added 11 points and 6 assists to round out the four Cougars to score in double figures. Atiki Ally Atiki came off the bench to lead the Cougars in rebounds with eight.

BYU outshot the Lions 51 to 29 percent from the field and 42 to 11 percent from deep on 36 attempts. The Cougars outrebounded Southeastern 52-32 and outscored the Lions 46-15 in bench points.

First Half

BYU opened the game with energy, jumping out to an early 11-2 lead. Noah Waterman earned the first two points at the line, followed by a 3-pointer by Traore from the top of the key. Knell then tossed an assist for Traore’s second score of the game on a hook shot. Later, Johnson posted back-to-back buckets as BYU claimed the early lead.

After a score by the Lions, the Cougars responded with an emphatic, 21-0 run to extend their lead to 32-4. Transition 3-pointers were the name of the game, with triples from Johnson and Robinson before Knell continued the early shooting clinic with three triples of his own. With 10:17 remaining in the half, the Cougars had shot 7-of-12 beyond the arc.

After holding Southeastern scoreless for 6:11, the Lions converted on a layup with 9:31 to go in the opening half. BYU then countered with a 6-0 run on two 3-pointers to make it 38-8. The first came from Robinson off a turnover and then Richie Saunders connected on his only triple of the evening. Five Cougars had registered a 3-pointer with 7:44 to go in the half.

The rate of scoring slowed down a bit in the ensuing minutes as both teams traded buckets. With a 42-12 lead, a pair of made free throws from Traore sparked an 8-0 run over a stretch of two and a half minutes. During the run, Robinson converted on a tough, turnaround jumper from the corner and found the bottom of the net again to put the Cougars up 50-12.

In the final three minutes of the half, BYU would score once on a floater from Knell following an offensive rebound. The Cougars went to the locker room up 52-17. In two of BYU’s first three games, they have held their opponent to under 20 points.

Knell and Traore led BYU with 11 points apiece at the half. Knell shot 3-of-6 from deep as Traore went 3-of-4 from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 at the charity stripe. The Cougars shot 49 percent from the field to Southeastern’s 20 percent. BYU registered 40 percent shooting from distance (8-of-20) as the Lions were 0-of-8. The Cougars forced seven Lions turnovers and doubled Southeastern Louisiana in boards at 28 to 14.

Second Half

With the score at 56-23, Trey Stewart led the Cougars to a 7-0 run, with all seven points from the junior. He first made a wide-open 3-pointer off an assist from Atiki, then converted on a layup directly off an inbound pass. Following a BYU strip in the paint, Knell gathered the loose ball before an outlet pass to Stewart. After a failed alley-oop attempt to Atiki, Stewart gathered the rebound for a putback off the glass to make it 63-23 with 15:31 left in the second half.

A triple from Southeastern’s Kam Burton and a pair of free-throw makes by the Lions made it 63-28 with 15:08 to go. Knell then nailed his fourth 3-pointer of the night. Getting it done on both ends of the floor, a steal by Knell led to a fastbreak lob to Atiki for a two-handed flush to make it 68-30. Johnson then found Waterman on the left side for a quick, no-hesitation triple as the Cougars went up 71-30 with 12:47 remaining in the game.

Up 75-32, the Cougars began another barrage of 3-pointers, hitting three straight. The treys came from Traore, Hall and Robinson to make it 84-37.

Up 88-43 with 6:33 to go, BYU went on a 17-5 run to close the game. The final minutes saw underclassmen register valuable playing time, including sophomore guard Jared McGregor’s crowd-dazzling crossover and stepback 3-pointer next to the Cougar bench.

BYU remains at the Marriott Center on Saturday, Nov. 18 versus Morgan State. Watch the Cougars face the Bears 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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