Takeaways From BYU’s Last-Second Win Against Missouri State

Nov 16, 2022, 10:40 PM
BYU Basketball, Atiki Ally Atiki, Missouri State...
BYU basketball forward Atiki Ally Atiki posted a career-high in rebounds against Missouri State. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball is becoming the late-game heroics team. The Cougars pulled off another game-winner for the second time in as many home regular season games.

This time it was a 66-64 win against Missouri State on Wednesday night. Freshman Dallin Hall was the star of the night as he knocked down a game-winner to give BYU the win.

Here are some takeaways from BYU’s thrilling win over Missouri State.

Dallin Hall shines when the lights are brightest

The former Fremont High star is already making an immediate impact on the BYU basketball program. In only the third game of his college career, Dallin Hall can add a game-winner to his resume.

But along with the game-winner, Hall was clutch on the glass coming up with critical rebounds. Most notably, a board with one minute to go that sent him to free throw line. BYU coach Mark Pope raved in the postgame about Hall’s ability to rebound.

But maybe the most critical piece to Hall’s performance was his decision-making late in the game. Pope gave praise to Hall’s late-game decisions.

There are still areas of Hall’s offensive game he needs to improve. Especially shooting the three, but to have the one shot be a game-winner, it was a clutch moment when the lights were brightest.

Atiki Ally Atiki took another huge step forward in his progress

At some point, we’ll look at Atiki Ally Atiki as a star player for BYU basketball instead of referring to him as developing or continuing to grow.

After an entire off-season with a college basketball program, he gave everyone a glimpse of what Atiki can do during the Missouri State win.

Atiki finished with a career-high 11 rebounds, adding seven points and two block shots in 20 minutes of action. Like Dallin Hall, Atiki was on the floor as BYU closed out a hard-fought victory.

Atiki’s potential has always been immense. It’s starting to become time to realize the potential is now playing itself on the floor.

Noah Waterman found confidence in his shot again

Being a newcomer at BYU is a difficult thing. Especially when you’re someone who didn’t have much familiarity with the program or the university before committing to play here. There’s a transition period to get acclimated and comfortable.

It feels that 6-foot-11 Noah Waterman, a transfer from Detroit Mercy, finally settled into his role tonight. He’s not your typical big man that is going to operate down low. Waterman grew up dribbling the basketball as a guard before a massive growth spurt in high school led to his current height.

But even as he grew taller, his shot-making ability from deep and his handles have always been there. He showed what he is capable of for this BYU team tonight as he knocked down five three-pointers. With Trevin Knell still recovering from shoulder surgery, Waterman might be one of the best shooters on the team.

The turnover percentage needs to go down

BYU only had three turnovers in the second half after starting the game with 10 giveaways in the first 20 minutes. That’s progress from averaging 21 turnovers in the first two games.

But the final percentage of turnovers on BYU’s possessions still finished at 20%. That will have to go down if BYU wants to cause some damage in the Battle 4 Atlantis next week.

Trey Stewart was a ‘game changer in the second half’

It probably went unnoticed, but Mark Pope wanted to highlight the play of guard Trey Stewart. Stewart was praised by Pope for “forcefully penetration and just finding guy’s shots.”

The coaching staff praised the sophomore guard leading up to the season for all of the little things he does. He earned 12 minutes of action in the win over Missouri State.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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