Answering Questions From No. 20 BYU Basketball’s Win Over No. 24 Iowa State

Jan 16, 2024, 10:18 PM

BYU basketball guard Dallin Hall with the ball against Iowa State inside the Marriott Center...

BYU basketball guard Dallin Hall with the ball against Iowa State inside the Marriott Center (Courtesy of BYU Photo)

(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – No. 20 BYU soundly defeated No. 24 Iowa State 87-72 behind 48 second-half points. Spencer Johnson led the way with a career-high 28 points.

Let’s answer some questions from the Cougar’s first home win in Big 12 conference play.

Who was the MVP for BYU basketball?

Trevin Knell didn’t play due to an injury sustained against UCF. He had been shooting the ball well over the past six games so his absence was concerning. Someone needed to pick up the scoring to make up for the lost production.

Enter Spencer Johnson. He’s a clear choice for MVP.

He added 19 points (also a career-high) in the first half with another nine coming in the second half.

Johnson made four of his nine attempts from deep while leading the team in rebounding with nine.

His impact goes far beyond the box score. Don’t get me wrong, his box score was tremendous against Iowa State. However, he does so many little things throughout the game that impact winning.

“The ball just found the right guy,” said Johnson postgame. “It happened to be me tonight.”

What was the most interesting stat from the game?

It hasn’t come easy offensively in Big 12 play for BYU. Through the first three games, the Cougars were averaging 65 points per game, well below their season average.

One way to generate easy buckets is in transition where BYU outscored Iowa State by 13 points.

21 points on the break is a lot in the Big 12. Against the Cyclones, pushing the pace greatly helped BYU knock down 13 three-point shots, where they finished plus 27 in that category.

What was the play of the game?

Following a crazy sequence with an ejection, (more on that in the next question) Iowa State cut the BYU lead to 13 points with six minutes remaining.

The Cougars needed a basket to slow down the Cyclone’s momentum.

Just like he had done all night long, Johnson got to the rim for an easy bucket. The lead was back up to 15 points.

It wasn’t a flashy play, but it’s the type of play that Johnson routinely makes.

When was the game won for BYU basketball?

Iowa State center Hason Ward threw a nasty elbow into the face of Richie Saunders after a made free-throw with 10:35 left in the game.

A decision was made quickly to eject Ward, giving Saunders two free throws. He made both attempts pushing the BYU lead to 15 points.

The Marriott Center was in a frenzy after the foul and losing Ward was a big blow to the Cyclones. He was their leading rebounder when he was ejected.

BYU made 83 percent of their free throw attempts going 20 for 24.

You can hear Matt Baiamonte every Saturday on KSL Newsradio for Cougar Sports Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. or you can find him on Twitter here.

Take us with you wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

BYU Cougars

BYU Football Roster, Spring Camp, Kalani Sitake, Sam Vander Haar...

Mitch Harper

BYU Football Roster For 2024 Spring Camp

BYU's roster during spring football practices.

2 hours ago

AP Top 25, BYU Basketball, Trevin Knell...

Mitch Harper

BYU Climbs Back Into AP Top 25 Rankings, Utah State Stays Put

The final AP Top 25 poll of the regular season features two teams from the state of Utah.

5 hours ago

BYU Basketball, Kansas Jayhawks, All-Time Win...

Mitch Harper

Cougar Sports Roundtable: Where BYU’s Win At Kansas Ranks, Spring Ball Objectives

The Cougar Sports Saturday crew ranks the greatest wins in BYU basketball history, plus looks at the key objectives for BYU football in spring camp.

6 hours ago

Big 12 Basketball, Power Rankings, BYU, Kansas...

Mitch Harper

Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings: BYU Soars Entering Final Week

Big 12 basketball enters the final week of the regular season.

23 hours ago

Big 12 Women's Basketball Tournament, Bracket, 2024 Schedule...

Mitch Harper

Big 12 Women’s Basketball Tournament Bracket, Schedule Released For 2024 Season

The bracket and schedule for the 14-team field in the Big 12 Women's Tournament.

1 day ago

BYU Basketball, Fousseyni Traore, TCU...

Mitch Harper

Takeaways From BYU’s Comeback Victory Over TCU

BYU's Fousseyni Traore and Richie Saunders shined in the comeback win over the Horned Frogs.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles


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.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

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.


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.

Answering Questions From No. 20 BYU Basketball’s Win Over No. 24 Iowa State