BYU takes down LMU 89-61 in wire-to-wire victory
PROVO, Utah – In a game it never trailed, BYU took down Loyola Marymount 89-61 behind Fousseyni Traore’s 14th career double-double Thursday night at the Marriot Center.
BYU had four players score in double figures in the well-balanced effort on 55 percent overall shooting and 50 percent from beyond the arc.
“I’m super excited about the contrast between the game we played at LMU a month ago and the game today," said head coach Mark Pope. "The execution tonight was so much better, it was a world of difference when compared to last month. I am super proud of the guys’ focus tonight on offense.”
Traore posted 11 points and 13 boards for his fifth double-double of the season. Spencer Johnson had 14 points while reserve guards Jaxson Robinson and Rudi Williams posted 13 points apiece. Robinson posted three triples on 3-for-4 shooting while Williams added 4 assists to lead all Cougars.
The Cougars outmatched the Lions in bench points, 41-32, points in the paint, 38-18, and rebounds 41-30. BYU also finished with a season-low seven turnovers compared to Loyola Marymount’s 12.
The win avenged a 64-59 road loss to the Lions on Jan. 5 to split the season series and improve BYU’s WCC record to 5-5 on the season.
The Cougars took command early to claim an 11-3 lead in the first five minutes after 55 percent shooting and four points apiece from Johnson and Traore. BYU’s defense held the Lions to a 1-for-8 start from the field.
Off an assist from Williams, Robinson knocked down a triple to go up 16-5 and force a Loyola Marymount timeout with 12:11 remaining in the half. Traore set the tone early on the glass with five rebounds.
Despite the timeout, the hot shooting continued as the Cougars’ advantage ballooned to 18 at 27-9 on 12-of-19 overall and just one turnover with 9:07 left in the half. The bench, led by Robinson’s seven points, accounted for over half of the first 27 points with 14.
At the 6:57 mark, two more treys from Robinson and Dallin Hall put BYU up 33-13 to cap a stretch of nine scores on the previous 11 possessions.
In the ensuing four minutes, the Lions responded with a 10-0 run of their own to cut the deficit to 33-23. The Cougars quickly countered with a flurry of buckets from George, Traore, and Williams. At halftime, a 12-4 run had pushed BYU’s lead back up to 18 at 45-27.
At the half, the Cougars had tallied 20 points in the paint and shot over 50 percent from both the field and beyond the arc. Traore led all scorers with 11 points and hauled in nine rebounds to nearly register a first half double-double. The Cougars’ 18-point advantage marked its largest halftime lead since starting WCC play in December and Loyola Marymount’s largest intermission deficit of conference play.
Both teams traded scores in the first few minutes of the second half with the score at 52-33 with 17:19 remaining. A jumper from Gideon George and consecutive buckets from Noah Waterman put BYU up 58-33 to mark its largest lead of the contest to that point with 15:19 left.
Under two minutes later at the 13:52 mark, a quick 10-3 BYU run was punctuated by a fast-break three from Johnson to extend the lead to 62-36 off an assist from Williams. The assist marked Williams’ fourth dime.
Traore gathered his 10th rebound with 7:43 remaining to notch his 14th career double-double and fifth on the season as BYU led 71-46.
At the 5:41 mark, Robinson hit his third 3-pointer off a Hall assist to up his point total to 13 and extend BYU’s advantage to 76-48. Some back-and-forth would ensue in the next couple of minutes before the Cougars once again upped their lead to 30 after Williams knocked down his first three and 13th point of the night giving the senior 1,9000 points in his collegiate career.
The Cougars’ final of a three-game homestand will be Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. MST against Pacific at the Marriott Center. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and also on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143, BYURadio.org/BYU Radio App or KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
POSTGAME NOTES: BYU 69, SAINT MARY'S 76
The following notes and quotes are from BYU’s 76-69 loss to Saint Mary’s in the semifinals of the 2023 University…
BYU fights back, fall to No. 16 Saint Mary's in UCU WCC Semifinal
BYU men’s basketball cut a 26-point second-half deficit to just three with 32 seconds to go Monday evening, but the…