BYU center Aly Khalifa (50) is guarded by Kansas State forward Will McNair Jr., right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024, in Provo, Utah. | Isaac Hale, Associated Press
BYU rebounded nicely from Tuesday’s blowout loss at Oklahoma and got back to .500 in Big 12 play with a 72-66 win over visiting Kansas State at the Marriott Center on Saturday night.
The No. 21-ranked Cougars improved to 5-5 in league play, 17-6 overall. Kansas State, which upset rival Kansas in overtime last Monday, fell to 5-6 and 15-8.
Fousseyni Traore scored 14 points off the bench for the Cougars, while Spencer Johnson and Jaxson Robinson added 12 apiece.
Robinson hit a 3-pointer with 51 seconds remaining after Kansas State had pulled within two, 66-64.
Arthur Kaluma scored a game-high 18 points for KSU and made a bucket with 37 seconds to again make it a one-score game, but Johnson made a layup and a free throw to seal the win for BYU.
The Cougars led 36-27 at halftime despite shooting 2 of 13 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes.
They finished 8 of 25 (32%) from deep but were just 10 of 21 from the free-throw line, which enabled KSU to get back in the game late in the second half.
Here are three keys to BYU’s fifth Big 12 win:
• Kansas State committed 16 turnovers, many of them unforced, a malady that cost the Wildcats a chance to get the upset win in their first trip to Provo since 1971. Leading scorer Tylor Perry was held to nine points, and the Wildcats were held to 43% shooting overall.
• The Cougars were in control with just under six minutes remaining when Noah Waterman and Trevin Knell hit back-to-back 3-pointers, giving BYU a 64-48 lead. But the Cougars misfired on their next six possessions, and Kansas State got back in the game.
• Coach Mark Pope switched up his starting lineup for the Wildcats, moving Knell back to a starting role and having Robinson come off the bench.
Also, big man Aly Khalifa returned to the starting lineup after…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/3-keys-no-21-byu-053217311.html
Author : Deseret News
Publish date : 2024-02-11 05:32:17
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