BYU rolls to 83-55 exhibition win over Life Pacific

Jaxson Robinson and Spencer Johnson combined to score 38 points as BYU men’s basketball rolled to an 83-55 win over Life Pacific in its exhibition game on Wednesday night at the Marriott Center.


PROVO, Utah — Jaxson Robinson and Spencer Johnson combined to score 38 points as BYU rolled to an 83-55 win over Life Pacific in its exhibition game on Wednesday night at the Marriott Center.

“It is incredible that we walk into this gym, and the ROC is almost all the way to the rafters. We are really blessed," head coach Mark Pope said. "Cougar Nation is real. This team is going to fight, the floor is going to be bloody, and Cougar Nation is going to walk out of here being proud of these guys this season.” 

Robinson led all scorers with 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 6-of-9 from three. Johnson showed up throughout the stat sheet with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting to go along with five assists, three rebounds and three steals. 

Fousseyni Traore shot 6-of-8 from the field, putting up 12 points as well as seven rebounds and a steal. Townsend Tripple came off the bench on the second half to contribute seven points and five rebounds. Richie Saunders, Noah Waterman, Trevin Knell and Atiki Ally Atiki added six points a-piece.

BYU shot 49 percent from the floor for the game while holding Life Pacific to 36 percent. The Cougars also shot 33 percent from deep. BYU outrebounded the Warriors 45-28 and scored 19 second-chance points. The Cougars combined for 11 steals, forcing 15 Life Pacific turnovers. BYU registered 21 assists to 10 turnovers. 

First Half

The Cougars jumped out to an 11-5 lead courtesy Johnson and Waterman. Johnson started the scoring for BYU with a corner 3-pointer. Waterman and Johnson then scored lay-ins on consecutive possessions before Johnson stole the ball from the Warriors and pushed it ahead to Waterman for the transition score.

Robinson entered the game and immediately made an impact as he knocked down each of his first three 3-point attempts, helping the Cougars to a half-high lead at 28-12.  Life Pacific engineered a response to Robinson’s hot hand with an 8-1 run that cut BYU’s lead to 28-20. Atiki ended the Cougar dry spell with a putback score followed seconds later by a Saunders steal and transition lay-in.

Traore took over down the stretch of the half with scoring and sharing the ball. With 4:21 to play in the half, the junior forward snagged a rebound then was fed down low by Robinson for a bucket in the paint. Traore dished the ball to Knell for a 3-pointer on BYU’s next possession then went on a personal 6-0 run to close the half.

Traore’s final bucket of the half started on the defensive end as he plucked the ball free of Life Pacific then hammered it home on the other end with an assist from Johnson.

BYU led 43-29 at the break off of 10 points from Traore and nine a-piece from Robinson and Johnson. The Cougars shot 50 percent from the field and 38 percent from deep in the half while holding the Warriors to 34 percent from the field and 24 percent from deep.  

Second Half

BYU kept the clamps on Life Pacific early with steals from Knell and Waterman along with a jump ball forced by Trey Stewart. Johnson helped the Cougar offense get off the ground to start the half with a 3-pointer and turn around jumper that put BYU up 49-29 five minutes in.

The Cougars proceeded to put the game away with a 10-0 run sparked by play off the bench from Tripple. The freshman from Meridian, Idaho posted a putback score and 3-pointer on consecutive possessions to put BYU up 60-37. Johnson then capped the run with a steal and sprint to the basket for the score.

Robinson’s hot hand returned with six minutes to play and piled on the BYU scoring. The senior sharpshooter scored on four of five straight possessions, three of which came from distance. Robinson also stole a Warrior pass and tossed it ahead to Saunders who punctuated the sequence with an emphatic slam dunk. 

The Cougars officially open the 2023-24 season on Nov. 6 with a home matchup versus Houston Christian. Watch the Cougars face the Huskies on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ or tune in for live play-by-play on Radio app or KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.

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