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No. 21 BYU Holds Off Late Kansas State Rally For Home Win

Feb 10, 2024, 10:23 PM

BYU/Kansas State, Fousseyni Traore, Game Recap...

BYU basketball hosted Kansas State in the Marriott Center on February 10, 2024. (Courtesy of BYU Photo)

(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball defeated Kansas State at the Marriott Center.

The Cougars took down K-State 72-66 to improve to 5-5 in Big 12 play.

BYU built a game-high 17-point lead in the second half, but let Kansas State get back into the game.

BYU’s offense went five minutes without a field goal to allow the Wildcats to cut the deficit to three.

Jaxson Robinson buried a three with 50 seconds remaining. Then Spencer Johnson hit a layup to put BYU in front for good.

BYU’s leading scorer was Fousseyni Traore, who scored 14 points. The game-high leader was Arthur Kaluma. Kaluma scored 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field.

BYU defense shines against Kansas State in the first half

14:59 – Physical action in the opening minutes of play. K-State’s Dai Dai Ames has scored all eight points for the Wildcats.

BYU’s starting five, featuring Trevin Knell and Aly Khalifa, started strong. Knell scored five points. Khalifa looked to be rushing his attempts early but was back to form, passing the ball with an early assist to Noah Waterman. BYU 9, Kansas State 8.

12:11 – Trey Stewart checks into the game. It’s the reserve point guard’s first game action since a brief appearance against Baylor on January 9.

10:16 – Stewart provided a nice contribution off the bench. He came up with a rebound and then stole the ball from behind on K-State’s Jerrell Colbert. Colbert reacted to the steal but pushing Stewart, but it was only called as a common foul. BYU 14, K-State 14.

6:50 – Trey Stewart remained in the game and knocked down his first points since December 30 with a midrange jumper.

Aly Khalifa then found his groove with his shot by burying a three. It’s the only made three-pointer in BYU’s first 10 attempts from beyond the arc.

Before the media timeout, Khalifa dished out a beautiful assist to Jaxson Robinson for a

BYU is typically a foul-happy team, but they have avoided being called for many fouls to this point. K-State didn’t attempt a free throw until the 8:26 mark. BYU 23, K-State 19.

3:25 – Kansas State’s Tylor Perry was called for a flagrant foul on Fousseyni Traore out of the media timeout. Traore stole the ball from Perry and then started to take it to the hoop; Perry went in for the steal and, in the process, took out Traore, who hit the deck. BYU 32, K-State 25.

HALF – BYU held Kansas State scoreless in the final 3:02 to close out the half with a nine-point lead. The Cougar bench has a 10-point advantage over K-State in the first 20 minutes. BYU’s second unit scored 15 points to the Wildcats five. BYU 36, Kansas State 27.

Second Half

15:48 – BYU continued its success from the first half with a strong dance to open the second half. Noah Waterman drew an and-one that appeared to get an NBA-style continuation.

The and-one gave BYU a 12-point lead. Then Kansas State’s David N’Guessan single-handedly popped off a 5-0 run in seconds by producing a layup, then a steal in BYU’s backcourt for an and-one opportunity.

BYU responded with Noah Waterman and Spencer Johnson hitting threes. BYU 45, K-State 33.

15:13 – Kansas State big man Arthur Kaluma suffered an injury and was helped off the court by trainers to the locker room. Kaluma left the game with 5 points and 5 rebounds in 24 minutes of action. BYU 47, K-State 33.

11:22 – Kaluma returned to the game at the 12:48 mark.

Fousseyni Traore has been going to work in the post, backing down Will McNair. Traore, on an up-and-under move, caused McNair to be called for his third foul. BYU 51, K-State 39.

8:00 – Trey Stewart returned to action and gave BYU some more quality minutes. He got to the hoop for a bucket.

After that, BYU was struggling to miss the gimme’s, along with their free throws. Richie Saunders missed a layup that he was fouled on. He proceeded to miss the two free throw attempts.

Fousseyni Traore had a pair of free throw misses.

The good thing for BYU is that it hasn’t cost them, as K-State has missed six of its last seven field goal attempts. BYU 58, K-State 43.

3:35 – After being down by 16 points, Kansas State reeled off an 11-0 run in two minutes to cut BYU’s lead by five at the final media timeout.

The turning point was a Trevin Knell charge that, after a review, resulted in a flagrant one.

Then Arthur Kaluma buried a three and McNair hit a floater in the paint.

BYU continues to miss layups and close attempts at the hoop. BYU 64, K-State 59.

1:01 – BYU has scored two points in the last 4:47 of action. Those two points were from the free throw line. BYU is shooting 47% from the free throw line.

K-State’s Arthur Kaluma buried a three to cut BYU’s lead down to two. BYU 66, K-State 64.

50.3 – Jaxson Robinson ends BYU’s field goal drought with a three. BYU 69, K-State 64.

FINAL – BYU guard/forward Spencer Johnson dribbled around to kill some time off the clock; Arthur Kaluma went for the steal, opening the lane for Johnson to get to the hoop for a layup. The Cougars survived to earn a 72-66 win.

The two teams will meet again on February 24 in Manhattan.

Up Next for BYU basketball

BYU will be back in action on Tuesday night at the Marriott Center against the UCF Knights.

The Cougars defeated UCF in Orlando back on January 13.

UCF lost to Texas Tech on Saturday without the Big 12’s top shot blocker Ibrahima Diallo.

Tip-off between BYU and UCF is at 7 p.m. on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM).

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s’ coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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No. 21 BYU Holds Off Late Kansas State Rally For Home Win