Postgame notes: BYU 89, LMU 61
The following notes and quotes are from BYU’s 89-61 win against Loyola Marymount on Thursday evening at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah.
Series Results: BYU leads series 22-6 including a 10-2 record on its home floor.
Four BYU players finished the game in double digits: Fousseyni Traore (11), Spencer Johnson (14), Jaxson Robinson (13) and Rudi Williams (13)
Points in the Paint
The Cougars doubled LMU’s work in the paint in the first half, with 20 to the Lions 10. BYU continued to dominate in the paint, finishing the game with 36. This makes it the fifth-straight game with the Cougars scoring 30 or more points in the paint.
Keeping the Ball
BYU’s offense had its season-low seven turnovers in tonight’s game against Loyola Marymount.
BYU held LMU to 27 points, shooting 40 percent from the field and 27 percent from beyond the arc in the first half. LMU finished the game shooting under 40 percent from the field and the three-point line. They also forced 12 opponent turnovers, capitalizing for 16 points.
Off the Bench
The Cougars recorded 19 points off the bench in the first half, with Jaxson Robinson leading the charge with 10 points. With contributions from Rudi Williams and Robinson in the second half, BYU finished the game with 39 points off the bench.
Spencer Johnson led the Cougars in scoring with 14, shooting six-of-10 from the field and two-of-four from the 3-point line. He also recorded four rebounds, two steals and three assists in tonight’s win.
Fousseyni Traore recorded his fifth double-double of the season and 14th of his career with 11 points and a season-high 13 rebounds.
Going 5-of-9 from the field, 3-of-4 from the three, Robinson had 13 points on the night, tied for the second-highest from the Cougars against LMU. This was his 11th game in the 2022-23 season with more than 10 points.
With 13 points on the night, Rudi Williams tied for the second-highest scorer for the Cougars in their victory against LMU. He also recorded four assists, three rebounds and one steal.
- Rebounds: Fousseyni Traore (13)
- Steals: Noah Waterman (2)
Coach Mark Pope
On season-low seven turnovers
“I’m super excited about the contrast between the game we played at LMU a month ago and the game today. We talk about how hungry we are to get better, and we believe we are getting better. The execution tonight was so much better, it was a world of difference when compared to last month. Super proud of the guys’ focus tonight on offense.”
On Noah Waterman
“Noah has been learning urgency, and his feel for what urgency means on the defensive end and in communication on the court is getting much better. I was really proud of him tonight because he came with terrific focus.”
On Jaxson Robinson
“Yesterday after practice, I sat down with Jax and said, ‘I think I’m going to tweak this lineup’ trying to gently go about the possibility of coming off the bench and it was one of my happiest moments coaching this year. Jax, who doesn’t really get animated, got super angry at me and said, ‘I don’t care about starting, I just want to play and I want to go win.’ It was the perfect response to a conversation that usually goes so differently. The fact that he felt that way, that’s the emotion he expressed, and then to come play this way, one of the things we’re blessed with is that we are really young, but we have tremendous character on this team and I’m super proud of him [Jaxson].”
On defending Keli Leaupepe
“Noah had a really tough assignment on him, and Noah’s length is real. I thought the guys communicated really well. It was a team effort, everything we do is a team effort now because we switch so much that you don’t really have a dedicated matchup for the whole game. Noah got us off to a great start and the rest of the guys really battled.”
Jaxson Robinson's opening statement
“Tonight we did a great job. Props to Spencer for doing a great job being aggressive on offense, and props to coach on how he coached the game tonight. All the guys did an amazing job tonight, we came out and executed so that’s all that matters.
On shooting well from the three-point line the last five games
“I feel like I’m confident in my shot, which is the key. The ball keeps going in and that’s all that matters. Reps and hours in the gym with my teammates and coaches, and just staying in the game is paying off now. It’s good to see.”
On why starting isn’t important
“It really wasn’t a certain time; it’s really always been my mindset. As long as I’m out there on the floor, eventually, playing basketball that’s all that matters to me. I love the game of basketball, so whenever I’m out there I just want to do what I can.”
On the win over LMU
“This was a huge win for us. LMU is a really good team, they’ve been great in our league and nationally they’re ranked pretty well, so it was a great win for us and winning just makes you feel good and it rights the ship. It highlights the point that we can play with anyone in this league, so to get this win was really reassuring of that.”
On offensive efficiency
“It felt great tonight. I think the feel of the game all started with Noah diving on the floor and grabbing a few loose balls. That got us feeling like we came to win, and put us in a really good rhythm. I’m super proud of all our guys because seven turnovers as a team is incredible. We are taking care of the ball a lot better.”
On moving past Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s losses
“One thing Coach Pope does a really good job of is that if we had ended up beating Gonzaga or beating Saint Mary’s, we were going to come back and do the exact same thing that we did when we lost which is just to come back and work. Big credit to our guys, to our staff and to everyone we have around us because they helped us come back, get better and stay positive. That’s all you can do.”
On holding the lead and finishing down the stretch
“The story of our season has been getting better from the beginning of the season to now. Every game, we are trying to get a little better and this is a step we needed to take. We had a lead and were able to increase it and finish the game and we did a really good job of that. We took a big step forward that way as a team.”
BYU’s Rudi Williams set to participate in 2023 State Farm College Team Skills & 3X3U Championships
Rudi Williams has been selected to participate in the State Farm College Team Skills and 3X3U Championships at the…
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…