No. 14 Cougars defeat Evansville 96-55, move to 8-0

No. 14 BYU defeated Evansville 96-55 Tuesday evening in the Marriott Center to remain undefeated.


PROVO, Utah — No. 14 BYU defeated Evansville 96-55 Tuesday evening in the Marriott Center to move to 8-0 on the season. 

The win marks the second-longest win streak under head coach Mark Pope while extending the program’s record to eight-straight games with 10 or more made 3-pointers. BYU went 14-of-32 from beyond the arc, good enough for 43.8 percent from deep. 

"I've never coached a team that has gone on a run like this where they just have been totally focused on the the objective on the court," said Pope. ​"​They haven't been distracted by the game. They haven't been distracted by the opponent. They haven't been distracted by rankings or media or wins."

The Cougars tallied 26 assists on 36 made field goals, shooting 52.9 percent from the floor as a whole. Defensively, BYU held Evansville to just 33.3 percent from the field and 30 points under their season scoring average.  

Jaxson Robinson was the leading force for the Cougars’ offense, scoring 19 points off of the bench and connecting on 4-of-9 shots from deep. Trevin Knell scored 13 going 3-of-5 from three and Noah Waterman chipped in 12 while leading BYU on the boards with eight. Point guard Dallin Hall tallied a season-high seven assists and six boards.

First Half

The Cougars and Purple Aces traded buckets in the opening five minutes of the game with BYU trailing 10-9. Waterman kicked-off BYU’s offense for the night, connecting on a 3-pointer and a dunk for an early five. In the next two minutes, the Cougars went on a 5-0 run credited to Aly Khalifa connecting on a 3-point shot of his own and finishing a pass from Hall to take the lead 14-10.

Out of the first media timeout, Hall pushed the pace in transition nailing a three-pointer from the top of the key and driving through the Purple Aces’ defense for two points plus contact to make it 24-10. Robinson and Richie Saunders proved to be sparks off of the bench, combining for nine points in their first five minutes on the floor, increasing the Cougar lead to 16, 31-15. The Purple Aces put together a 4-0 run of their own, decreasing their deficit to 12 heading into the second media timeout.

Robinson ignited the crowd nailing back-to-back 3-point shots: one in front of the Purple Aces bench and the other with contact in the corner. The very next play, he found Knell open for the third-straight BYU 3-pointer as the Cougars increased their lead to 20, 45-25. In the final seconds of the half, Khalifa found Waterman open for an easy layup as BYU extended their scoring run to 12-0 and entered the locker room ahead 47-25.

Robison led the Cougars in the first half with 14 points going 5-of8 from the floor as Hall tallied six assists and six rebounds.

Second Half 

Out of the break, Spencer Johnson found holes in the Purple Aces’ defense driving the lane and getting fouled twice. The senior went 4-of-4 from the charity stripe and finished a look inside the paint the next trip down the court. Hall and Knell found luck driving the lane as well, finishing two more lay-ups ahead of the half’s first media timeout. BYU extended their lead to 31 in the first five minutes of the second half, 60-29.

Hall and Knell continued to match each other as both connected from deep out of the break. Saunders then came up with another high-energy play getting his hand in an Evansville passing lane, taking it to the other end, getting fouled and making both free throws, 69-33. 

With 10 minutes remaining in the game, Trey Stewart found Atiki Ally Atiki mid-air for an alley-oop. Immediately following, Saunders found the bottom of the net from deep and Robison connected on his fourth 3-point make of the night, 79-38. 

In the final minutes of the game, Stewart connected on a mid-range jumper and scored a lay-up in transition 20 seconds later. Jared McGregor checked into the game and nailed a 3-point shot within 10 seconds for the last BYU as the Cougars win 95-55.

Up Next

The Cougars head up North for its only true road game of the season on Saturday, Dec. 9, against Utah. The rivalry is set for 5 p.m. MST and will be streamed on the Pac-12 Network or tune-in for live play-by-play on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143, Radio app or KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.

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