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Noah Waterman Scores Career-High As BYU Crushes Arizona State In Vegas

Nov 24, 2023, 12:55 AM | Updated: 1:15 am

BYU Basketball, Noah Waterman, Arizona State...

BYU basketball forward Noah Waterman scored a career-high as the Cougars rolled through Arizona State. (Donovan Kelly/BYU Photo)

(Donovan Kelly/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball improves to 5-0 after a big night from forward Noah Waterman against Arizona State on Thanksgiving night.

Waterman scored a career-high 24 points as BYU rolled to a blowout 77-49 victory over the Sun Devils.

The win advances BYU to the championship round of the 2023 Vegas Showdown on Friday night. BYU will face N.C. State from the ACC at 8 p.m. (MT) on ESPN2 and KSL NewsRadio.

Offenses struggled in the First Half

BYU entered the game, boasting one of the nation’s top offenses. In the first half, that was nowhere to be found. Through the first 12 minutes of action, BYU had 12 points.

BYU began with a new starting lineup as Dallin Hall anchored the point guard spot, replacing Trey Stewart, who was part of the second unit.

The good thing is that their top-25 defense showed up, as Arizona State only had nine points through at the under-eight timeout.

BYU’s offense woke up after the slow start. Spencer Johnson and Noah Waterman knocked down back-to-back threes and suddenly, BYU was up by nine.

They went into the halftime locker room with a 32-17 lead despite shooting only 31% from the field.

Arizona State’s offense never came to life in the first half. The new-look Sun Devils, who were without 7-footer Shawn Phillips in the post, struggled. BYU held Arizona State to 29% shooting in the first half.

A big difference was on the glass as BYU scored nine second-chance points to ASU’s zero.

Near the end of the first half, Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley was fired up with the officials that his guard Jose Perez took a hard fall to the floor. He thought that BYU sophomore Richie Saunders elbowed Perez. After review, there was no elbow, just a moving screen from Atiki Ally Atiki. But the moving screen was not reviewable.

Earlier in the half, BYU forward Fousseyni Traore left the game at the 1:28 mark due to taking an elbow from Perez that gave him a bloody cut on his face. Traore was called for the foul by officials.

BYU Basketball pulled away in the Second Half

BYU’s offense picked up the pace in the second half as they shot 57.1% from three and 51.6% from the field. They outscored Arizona State 45-32 in the second period.

Trevin Knell and Jaxson Robinson were scoreless in the first half. They both combined for 17 points in the second 20 minutes.

Arizona State had no counter, as they only knocked down 11% of their three-point attempts.

BYU’s lead was as high as 29 points before settling on a thorough 28-point victory over a future Big 12 foe.

Fousseyni Traore returned to action in the second half and played 10 minutes.

The dominant win concluded on a sour note as BYU forward Atiki Ally Atiki threw a punch with 33.8 seconds remaining at ASU’s Akil Watson. BYU head coach Mark Pope left the bench and immediately broke it up.

Waterman left the bench and received a technical foul and an ejection for coming onto the court.

Atiki received a flagrant two-foul and was immediately ejected. Flagrant two fouls would result in an immediate suspension for the following game.

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’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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Noah Waterman Scores Career-High As BYU Crushes Arizona State In Vegas