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BYU Overcomes 23-Point Deficit To Defeat Dayton At Battle 4 Atlantis

Nov 25, 2022, 4:45 PM | Updated: 4:46 pm

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BYU basketball overcame a 23-point deficit to defeat Dayton. (Elizabeth Weiler, KSL NewsRadio)

(Elizabeth Weiler, KSL NewsRadio)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball proved that you never give up on any game.

After opening up the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament with two losses to USC and Butler, BYU looked poised to make it a third after they trailed Dayton 32-9 with 6:01 remaining in the first half.

But as Butler’s head coach Thad Matta said on Thursday, “BYU never goes away.”

That was the case on Friday, as BYU didn’t go away. Instead, they rallied behind a 21-point performance from Gideon George to defeat Dayton 79-75 in overcoming. The win gives BYU a 7th-place finish in the stacked Battle 4 Atlantis field.

BYU improves to 4-3 overall on the season.

Geroge scored 14 of his game-high 21 points in the second half. He finished playing 37 out of a possible 45 minutes. It was a big performance from a senior leader that BYU desperately needed as their clutch scorer, Spencer Johnson, was out due to a knee injury he suffered in the loss to Butler.

Without Johnson, BYU had others step up to fill the void of the starting guard.

Rudi Williams had the best game of his BYU career to this point. The former Coastal Carolina guard has been playing a new role he has never filled in his collegiate career. So turnovers have been a struggle for Williams. But he ended up with only two turnovers to go along with 11 points and three assists.

Freshman Dallin Hall took on an elevated role by playing 30 minutes. Hall scored 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field and added five assists and three rebounds.

Jaxson Robinson took another step forward in his young career at BYU, scoring 14 points, with six coming in overtime. Robinson buried a corner three with 3:43 remaining in overtime that gave BYU a three-point lead.

Dayton had two starting guards leave the game due to injuries in Kobe Elvis and Malachi Smith. As a result, during the overtime period, the Flyers had to turn to 6-foot-8 freshman Mike Sharavjamts to handle the point guard responsibilities.

In the postgame interviews, Robinson and Hall were asked when the team believed they could pull off the comeback. Both said the entire second half was when they felt they could pull off the unthinkable.

BYU held Dayton to only 24 points in the second half, and the Flyers didn’t knock down any of their three three-point field goal attempts. The Flyers shot 38.9% from the field in the second half, while BYU knocked down 53.6% from the field, including 7-of-14 from the three-point line.

Dayton, who was once a preseason AP top 25 team, dropped all three of its games in the Bahamas and fell to 3-4 overall. BYU now turns its attention to a pair of games next week at the Vivint Arena.

The Cougars will take on Division II Westminster on Tuesday, November 29, at Vivint. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. on BYUtv and KSL NewsRadio.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com 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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BYU Overcomes 23-Point Deficit To Defeat Dayton At Battle 4 Atlantis