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Answering Questions From The Lone Meeting Between No. 21 BYU And No. 4 Houston

Jan 23, 2024, 10:41 PM | Updated: Jan 24, 2024, 2:26 pm

PROVO, Utah – No. 21 BYU basketball hosted one of the best teams in the Big 12, and the country, the No. 4 Houston Cougars.

Brigham Young had chances late in the game to take the lead, but ultimately it was Houston who secured a huge Big 12 conference win 75-68.

Let’s answer some questions from the only regular-season meeting between these teams.

Who was the MVP for BYU basketball?

Noah Waterman scored the most points with 17. His shooting in the second half was critical. 12 of his 17 points came in the final half.

However, I’m going to say Fousseyni Traore was the MVP tonight.

He entered the game for the first time with 10 minutes remaining and the Cougars trailing by eight points.

Traore scored seven points down the stretch. However, I thought it was his physical presence and ability to finish around the rim that helped BYU have a chance at the win.

There was a late offensive foul call on him that was questionable. Had the call gone his way, he would have been shooting free throws to give BYU the lead.

It’s a massive challenge for head coach Mark Pope to find minutes for him, Aly Khalifa, and Atiki Ally Atiki.

One thing is clear, Traore can make a difference against some of the best teams in the conference.

What was the most interesting stat from the game?

Houston is the top defensive team in the country. They are not a top three-point shooting team.

Against BYU, Houston made 43 percent of their three-point attempts.

They made 10 three-point shots. BYU made 11 of them while only shooting 29 percent from deep.

Points off turnovers favored Houston as well, but their ability to match BYU from the three-point line helped them escape with a win.

What was the play of the game?

The play of the game would have been a three-point make from Trevin Knell with 45 seconds to go, giving BYU the lead late.

However, the shot didn’t fall. Houston made their free throws and closed the door on BYU.

Early in the second half, Dallin Hall secured a rebound and pushed down the floor.

Houston’s defense never set up properly which provided a lane to the basket for Hall.

He seized the moment and threw down a thunderous one-handed dunk.

Hall finished the game with six points and five assists. Foul trouble in the second half kept him from having a bigger impact.

When was the game over for BYU basketball?

Houston made two free throws with 41 seconds left to extend the lead to three points.

BYU needed to score on the ensuing possession to keep the pressure on the Cougars.

The ball found Richie Saunders in the corner and he launched a three-point shot.

Unfortunately, it rimmed out and Houston secured the rebound. They buried two more free throws, closing the door on BYU.

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 @baiamontematt here.

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