BYU Basketball Takeaways From Heartbreaking Loss To No. 22 Saint Mary’s

Jan 28, 2023, 11:34 PM | Updated: Jan 30, 2023, 1:10 pm

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball lost on a buzzer-beater to No. 22 Saint Mary’s 57-56 in the Marriott Center on Saturday night.

First Half Recap

The first half was all about runs. After BYU started the game hot with a quick 7-3 lead, Saint Mary’s went on a 14-0 run holding BYU without a field goal for 8 minutes.

BYU answered with a run of their own, scoring 11 straight and holding the Gaels scoreless for four minutes.

With under a minute to go until halftime, Fousseyni Traore blocked a shot that led to a fastbreak layup by Dallin Hall to put the Cougars up, 25-22.

Trey Stewart fouled a three-point shot attempt on the other end, and the Gaels took advantage by converting on all three free throws to enter the break tied at 25.

Second Half Recap

The second half was much more balanced than the first.

A Hall jumper and Traore layup cut a Gaels’ eight-point lead in half, and a pair of free throws by Gideon George brought the Cougars within two with under four to go.

Spencer Johnson hit back-to-back threes to give put BYU up 55-53 with 2:13 remaining.

With a minute left to play the BYU defense forced a three-point shot that rimmed out and was gathered by George.

On the ensuing possession, Hall was fouled on a drive to the basket with just 10.2 left in regulation.

Hall hit just one of two free throws, and Saint Mary’s guard Aidan Mahaney hit a tough fadeaway jumper to take the lead with 0.3 left.

Dallin Hall had a desperation half-court heave that was short of the rim and the Cougars came up short.

Dallin Hall is going to be a star

He scored a career-high 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting and turned it over just once.

When BYU needed a basket, Hall would demand the ball and work his way to the rim.

I’m not saying he’s Jimmer Fredette, but the body control Hall has on contested layups looks very similar to what Jimmer was so good at. I’m really excited to see what he can look like with a full offseason of work.

BYU basketball fought until the bitter end

This team is full of fighters. Missing three contributors, BYU could’ve folded when it trailed by 11 early on, but Hall seemingly took the game over the next four minutes and put the Cougars back in it.

Despite the height disadvantage, BYU was able to outrebound the Gaels, 33-25. It may not always look pretty, but BYU always seems to scrap its way back into ball games after falling behind by double digits.

Surprise bench player makes an impact

BYU might have found something in Tredyn Christensen. The absence of Jaxson Robinson, Noah Waterman, and Atiki Ally Atiki resulted in the first meaningful minutes of the season for Chaminade transfer Tredyn Christensen.

Christensen was a force down low and made the Saint Mary’s bigs feel his presence. The physicality the Cougars were missing last week in the Bay Area was given a nice boost by the junior forward in his seven minutes of action.

Though he seemed to look lost at times on the offensive end, he did have a nice drive to the basket for his only basket of the game.

BYU returns home next week when they host Loyola Marymount.

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BYU Basketball Takeaways From Heartbreaking Loss To No. 22 Saint Mary’s