No. 18 BYU Defeats Denver Behind Career Nights From Robinson, Waterman

Dec 13, 2023, 9:02 PM | Updated: Dec 14, 2023, 12:43 am

BYU Basketball, Denver Pioneers, Noah Waterman...

PROVO, UT - DECEMBER 13: Noah Waterman #0 of the Brigham Young Cougars pressures Tommy Bruner #0 of the Denver Pioneers during the first half at the Marriott Center on December 13, 2023 in Provo, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – No. 18 BYU basketball is back in the win column after a setback to rival Utah last week.

BYU was back in action on Wednesday night, hosting the Denver Pioneers.

Denver was no match for BYU as the Cougars rolled to a 90-74 victory to improve to 9-1 on the season.

Jaxson Robinson scored a career-high 28 points and Noah Waterman finished with his first double-double of 22 points, 14 rebounds to lead BYU.

BYU basketball jumps out to 20-point lead in first half

13:31 – Cold shooting carried over from the loss at Utah into the opening minutes against Denver.

BYU shot 10 threes out of the gate and knocked down only two. Their three attempts from inside the arc were all made.

Noah Waterman, after a scoreless night against Utah, jumped out to a quick five points and five rebounds. BYU 12, Denver 8.

11:32 – Richie Saunders continues to show signs of his improved play. He stepped in off the bench and scored a pair of buckets at the rim. BYU 19, DU 10.

10:35 – Denver leading scorer Tommy Bruner, who is third in the nation in points per game with an average of 24.0, scored his first field goal of the game. Bruner stole the ball back from Trey Stewart to set up an easy layup. BYU 20, DU 12.

7:54 – Fast pace game with only four fouls called so far. BYU 24, DU 16.

6:15 – Good hustle play from Noah Waterman as Bruner looked to be on a fastbreak for another layup. Waterman used his wing span to make things challenging, Aly Khalifa chased down the rebound. BYU 27, DU 16.

3:57 – Is it time for Mark Pope to put Jaxson Robinson into the starting lineup? Robinson has buried three threes and been an instant spark off the bench. BYU 33, DU 18.

Halftime – BYU committed an uncharacteristic seven turnovers in the first half, but they overcame that with the volume of threes they attempted. The Cougars fired off 24 threes and knocked down eight. Pios only hit one three. BYU 45, Denver 25.

Noah Waterman, Jaxson Robinson shine in second half

14:29 – BYU big man Atiki Ally Atiki had a beautiful catch and, while in the air, lays it up and is found for an and-one opportunity.

Former Utah Utes player Jaxson Brenchley was the first Denver player to reach double-figures in scoring. BYU 59, Denver 38.

11:55 – BYU is up to six blocks on the Pioneers, who are struggling to come up with easy baskets. Waterman and Robinson each have two. BYU 64, Denver 41.

9:07 – Jaxson Robinson reached seven made three-pointers, which accounted for his 21 points. Then he hit his first bucket inside the arc at the 9:07 mark. BYU 75, Denver 48.

7:22 – Robinson has set a new career-high for the third time this season. He’s up to 26 points after burying his eighth three-pointer. BYU 78, Denver 52.

3:56 – BYU was looking to get Jaxson Robinson the single-game three-pointers made record. The all-time record is 10 made by Chase Fischer against Chaminade in the 2014 Maui Invitational. Robinson had two looks, one from top of the arc, and another in the corner, he missed both. BYU 84, Denver 59.

1:49 – Noah Waterman finished with a big bounce-back showing after the zero-point performance against Utah. Waterman scored 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

Jaxson Robinson’s final bucket of the night was a smooth display of his ball-handling ability, then a soft finish at the rim. Robinson finished with 28 points. BYU 88, Denver 68.

FINAL – Denver scored some late buckets against BYU’s walk-ons to make the final score a bit closer than the game felt. BYU shot 50% from the field to pull away for a blowout win. BYU 90, Denver 74.

BYU Basketball Notes

BYU basketball had a lot of talent in hoodies and sweats once again on Wednesday. Fousseyni Traore, Dawson Baker, and Marcus Adams were all sidelined.

Traore is dealing with a hamstring injury, Baker a foot injury, and Adams is still waiting on clearance from the NCAA after a West Virginia judge provided a temporary restraining order from the NCAA’s waiver rules for all athletes.

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

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No. 18 BYU Defeats Denver Behind Career Nights From Robinson, Waterman