BYU Fades In Second Half As USC Pulls Away To Open Battle 4 Atlantis

Nov 23, 2022, 3:30 PM | Updated: 5:41 pm
BYU/USC, Battle 4 Atlantis...
BYU/USC pregame warmups at the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in the Bahamas. (Elizabeth Weiler, KSL NewsRadio)
(Elizabeth Weiler, KSL NewsRadio)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball opened up the Battle 4 Atlantis as an underdog to make a run in this loaded eight-team field. But the Cougars came into the opening round against USC as a favorite to knock off the Trojans.

Those projections didn’t play out as USC got hot in the second half to pull away from BYU. To BYU’s credit, the Cougars did not give up late in the second half, but it was too little, too late, as USC defeated BYU 82-76. USC guard Boogie Ellis had a career-high 27 points.

BYU falls to the consolation bracket in the Battle 4 Atlantis, and will face the loser of the Tennessee/Butler game on Thanksgiving day at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN3.

The Thanksgiving event is a massive opportunity for a young BYU basketball team that is still piecing together its identity.

Starting Lineups

BYU (3-2)

  • G – Rudi Williams, 6-3, Sr.
  • G – Spencer Johnson, 6-5, Jr.
  • G – Jaxson Robinson, 6-7, Soph.
  • F – Gideon George, 6-6, Sr.
  • C – Foussyeni Traore, 6-6, Soph.

USC (3-2)

  • G – Boogie Ellis, 6-3, Sr.
  • G – Reese Dixon-Waters, 6-5 Soph.
  • F – Tre White, 6-7, Fr.
  • F – Drew Peterson, 6-9, Sr.
  • C – Joshua Morgan, 6-11, Jr.

USC holds a slim lead after the first half

  • 18:09 – Tough start for BYU. Before they could catch their breath, USC was already up by three possessions on them. Southern Cal 7, BYU 0
  • 16:16 – Spencer Johnson knocks down a three to tie the game. BYU 7, Southern Cal 7

  • 14:13 – Rudi Williams was plus-one in assists to turnovers and also knocked down both of his shots. BYU 12, USC 11
  • 12:13 – Back-to-back blocks from Atiki Ally Atiki and Richie Saunders. BYU is playing tough on the defensive end of the floor. BYU 15, USC 14
  • 10:05 – Turnovers are starting to pile up again for BYU. The Cougars have committed five turnovers in the last 4:45 of action. They are up to seven turnovers on the day. USC 20, BYU 15

  • 9:19 – Atiki Ally Atiki was charged with a technical foul after slamming the ball on the floor out of frustration. Boogie Ellis proceeded to miss both free throws. Then Drew Peterson missed a personal foul free throw attempt. The Trojans missed out on three points with those misses. USC 22, BYU 17
  • 6:14 – Noah Waterman buries another three. He seems to be finding his role within this BYU team. His confidence is growing with each passing game. USC 24, BYU 22
  • 4:00 – Rudi Williams knocks down his fourth field goal of the game. To this point of the season, this first has been the best play from Williams since he joined the BYU program. USC 28, BYU 27
  • 2:22 – Fousseyni Traore commits BYU’s 10th turnover of the first half. USC 29, BYU 28
  • 23.7 – BYU forward Gideon George tossed a pass that zooms past Dallin Hall and goes into the backcourt for a backcourt violation. Gives USC the chance to take the last shot of the half. USC 31, BYU 30
  • 3.7 – BYU locks up on defense. Trey Stewart defended Drew Peterson, who passed to Kobe Johnson for a layup attempt, but it went out of bounds. USC 31, BYU 30
  • 0.0 – Trey Stewart attempts a three from the Battle 4 Atlantis logo near midcourt.
  • HALFTIME: Southern Cal 31, BYU 30

Halftime notables 

  • Spencer Johnson leads all scorers at the break with 10 points.
  • BYU committed a turnover on 34.4% of its possessions. Finished the first half with 11 turnovers.
  • Jaxson Robinson was 0-for-3 from the field.
  • BYU outrebounded USC in the first half 22-13
  • USC star Drew Peterson has 8 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal in 18 minutes of action

BYU fades in the second half, but makes a late push

  • 19:50 – Jaxson Robinson knocks down his first basket of the game to put BYU in front. BYU 32, USC 31

  • 16:29 – Big offensive rebound from Fousseyni Traore with a strong putback that had members of the BYU bench flexing. USC 39, BYU 37
  • 15:03 – USC has come out strong on the offensive end in the second half, knocking down 50% of its first 10 attempts from the field. BYU forward Gideon George had a three that looked to be on line but rattled in and out. SC 43, BYU 39
  • 13:52 – USC’s Reese Dixon-Waters buries a shot to give USC its biggest lead. SC 47, BYU 39

  • 13: 11 – Dixon-Waters knocks down a three and the Trojans are on a 9-0 run. SC 50, BYU 39
  • 11:46 – Jaxson Robinson knocks down a three to end USC’s streak and gives BYU’s offense a little bit of success against a 2-3 zone that is giving BYU headaches. USC 52, BYU 42

  • 10:48 – Mark Pope let his young lineup play through the struggles as USC popped off a big run. He let it roll into the media timeout. USC’s 2-3 zone has been a difference-maker. USC 56, BYU 42
  • 8:24 – Gideon George knocks down a three that BYU desperately needed. USC 59, BYU 46
  • 4:47 – USC continues to build on its game-high lead. Boogie Ellis has popped off for 17 points in the second half as he scored a game-high 23 points. USC 70, BYU 54
  • 3:21 – BYU’s rebounding edge has shrunk to only plus-two. Trojans are shooting 64% from the field in the second half. SC 74, BYU 57
  • 2:10 – BYU isn’t giving up. The defense forced a shot clock violation against USC. USC 75, BYU 64
  • 2:00 – Williams missed a good look at a three-pointer that would have cut the deficit to single-digits.
  • 1:38 – Robinson buries a corner three. BYU is on a 9-0 run. USC 75, BYU 67
  • 1:32 – Noah Waterman comes up with a steal and finds a wide open Williams for a three. The shot attempt comes up short. Missed opportunity for BYU. SC 75, BYU 67
  • 34.2 – BYU forces a jump ball. Possession arrow goes to the Cougars. SC 79, BYU 71
  • 9.0 – A lob to Tre White put it out of reach from BYU. SC 82, BYU 73
  • 2.0 – Spencer Johnson buries a three to close out the game. Strong fight from BYU to close out the second half, but they ran out of time. USC 82, BYU 76

Final: USC 82, BYU 76

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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