No. 19 BYU topples Fresno State 85-56 behind career highs from Robinson and Johnson

Career highs from Jaxson Robinson and Spencer Johnson propelled No. 19 BYU men’s basketball over Fresno State, securing an 85-56 victory on Friday night at the Delta Center.


PROVO, Utah — Career highs from Jaxson Robinson and Spencer Johnson propelled No. 19 BYU over Fresno State, securing an 85-56 victory on Friday night at the Delta Center.

"I'm really proud of the guys. The same things remain and we're trying so hard to be an improved team in terms of protecting the ball, and I thought the guys were extraordinary tonight," said head coach Mark Pope. "Four turnovers in the first half and three in the second half, that's a huge win for us."

BYU opened with a 24-10 lead and maintained a double-digit advantage throughout the game, hitting 11 3-pointers and forcing the Bulldogs into 21 turnovers.

Robinson, coming off the bench, scored a career-high 24 points on 9-of-17 shooting, including 6-of-8 from beyond the arc, and added three steals. Johnson also achieved a career-high with 22 points, shooting an efficient 9-of-12 from the field to go along with five rebounds and five assists. 

Johnson ignited the Cougar offense early, contributing 12 of the team’s first 17 points. Richie Saunders matched a season high in points coming off the bench scoring 12 on 5-of-10 shooting, with three rebounds and three assists.

BYU outshot Fresno State 49.3-46.8, but it was the Cougars’ 36 points off 21 Bulldog turnovers that sealed the victory.

First Half

BYU began with an 8-4 lead, spurred by five quick points from Johnson. Johnson continued to play strong early in the game sinking a 3-pointer and extending the Cougars’ lead to 11-7 following an offensive rebound.

Providing a spark off the bench, Robinson secured his first points of the evening via a 3-pointer from the top of the key extending BYU’s lead to 22-10. The junior guard continued his hot start sinking a jumper and another 3-pointer quickly tallying eight points. The Cougars led 29-13 with just over eight minutes remaining in the half.

BYU closed the half with a spinning turnaround jumper from Johnson and a driving layup from Robinson assisted by Aly Khalifa. The needle-threading pass by Khalifa erupted the Delta Center with cheers and extended the Cougars' lead to 36-23 closing out the half.

Johnson led BYU with 14 points at halftime, shooting 6-of-7 from the field. Despite trailing, Fresno State outshot the Cougars 47.6-45.5, but BYU forced 11 Bulldog turnovers.

Second Half

An 8-0 run by BYU early in the second half, capped by a layup from Johnson, extended the lead to 49-28. Johnson’s bucket secured his 18th point and improved his shooting to 7-of-8 from the field.

BYU’s defense forced Fresno State’s 15th turnover, resulting in two made free throws by Saunders, extending the lead to 53-35. A 14-2 run included Johnson scoring his career-high 22nd point via a fast-break layup, giving BYU a 64-42 advantage.

Robinson sank back-to-back triples, securing his 18th point off the bench. He continued with another pair of 3-pointers, extending the lead to 78-48 with just over five minutes remaining. Robinson's triples helped secure his career-high 24 points.

The Cougars maintained their lead and secured the 29-point victory.

BYU returns to the Marriott Center floor on Dec. 5 versus Evansville Watch the Cougars face the Purple Aces 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, Radio app or KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.

Unable to display PDF file. Download instead.

Download PDF