BYU COUGARS

BYU Basketball Falls In Last Visit To Santa Clara

Jan 20, 2023, 12:23 AM | Updated: 11:23 am

PROVO, Utah – For a brief moment, BYU basketball had an opportunity to get back in the West Coast Conference title race.

Before the Cougars road game at Santa Clara, Gonzaga had a shocking loss to Loyola Marymount at The Kennell. It was the first time since BYU’s been in the WCC that the Zags lost at home to a WCC team not named BYU or Saint Mary’s.

Despite last week’s loss to the Zags, BYU had a chance to get back in the title hunt. They just needed to pull off an upset on the road against Santa Clara.

Winning on the road is one of the hardest things in college basketball. It played out that way on Thursday as BYU lost to Santa Clara, 83-76.

A sloppy first half for BYU basketball

The first half was highlighted for all the wrong reasons by BYU. Turnovers have often been a problem for this year’s BYU squad, but they hit a low point on Thursday night. Through the first half of action against the Broncos, BYU committed 15 turnovers.

Spencer Johnson and Dallin Hall each had three turnovers in the first 20 minutes.

BYU only had two points in the first seven minutes of game action. A brutal start.

Despite all of the miscues, BYU found themselves only down by eight points. Considering how bad BYU played, that felt like a moral victory for Pope’s crew. They had it down to five, but SCU star and Illinois transfer Brandin Podziemski knocked down a three as the clock expired to close the half.

BYU starts the second half strong, but SCU pulls away

BYU looked like a completely different team to open the second half. The Cougars began the second period of action on a 14-2 run. They built up a 40-36 lead at the 16-minute mark.

Over the next 10 minutes, the game, was back and forth. BYU guard Rudi Williams led the way for the Cougars scoring 20 of his 24 points in the second half.

Williams capitalized at the free throw line, going 7-of-8 and was 6-of-11 from the field. He also didn’t commit any turnovers in the second half.

But even more impressive than Williams was the play of Santa Clara’s Carlos Steward and Keshaw Justice. The two combined for 27 points in the second half. Justice was also a force on the glass, pulling down four rebounds.

Both BYU and Santa Clara came into the game as the two best rebounding teams in the West Coast Conference. But the physicality from SCU appeared to shock BYU, especially down the stretch.

The physical play and size from Santa Clara also caused headaches for BYU’s bigs on the offensive end. Fousseyni Traore finished with only three field goal attempts. The sophomore star finished with six points and nine rebounds.

Ultimately, BYU’s fight faded down the stretch as Podziemski and the Broncos pulled away in the final eight minutes of action.

In the second half, SCU shot 53% from the field and 37.5% from three. By comparison, BYU was 45.5% and 29.4%.

Up Next

BYU drops to 14-8 overall and 4-3 in West Coast Conference play. Next up is another road game on Saturday against San Francisco at 6 p.m. on CBS Sports Network 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 Mitch and his BYU basketball coverage on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

BYU Cougars

BYU Basketball, Pacific Tigers, Fousseyni Traore...
Mitch Harper

Instant Takeaways From BYU’s 81-66 Win Over Pacific

BYU used a big run to end the first half to pull away from the Pacific Tigers.
22 hours ago
Zach-Wilson-New-York-Jets...
Jeremy Mauss

Unrivaled Bold, Stupid Predictions: Zach Wilson Done With Jets, NHL To Salt Lake

One of the big predictions is that former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson has played his last game for the New York Jets.
22 hours ago
Brigham Young Cougars guard Dallin Hall (30) lays the ball up during a NCAA basketball game at the ...
Matt Baiamonte

BYU Basketball Questions Answered In Win Against LMU

Considering the circumstances of the three game losing streak, the win against LMU goes down as the best win of the season for BYU basketball.
3 days ago
BYU Basketball, LMU, Fousseyni Traore...
Mitch Harper

Instant Takeaways From BYU’s 89-61 Win Over LMU

BYU basketball rolls through LMU to return to 5-5 in West Coast Conference play.
3 days ago
NFL-Pro-Bowl-Football-Logo...
Kyle Ireland

Tyler Huntley Helps AFC Take Early Lead Over Fred Warner, NFC At Pro Bowl Games

Former Utah QB Tyler Huntley helped the AFC take an early lead over former BYU LB Fred Warner and the NFC at the Pro Bowl Games.
3 days ago
BYU Football, David Latu, Signing Day...
Mitch Harper

BYU Football Recruit Announces Commitment At Father’s Grave

David Latu had one of the more emotional Signing Day announcements you'll watch.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
jimmy-buffett-tour-art...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
BYU Basketball Falls In Last Visit To Santa Clara