No. 19 BYU Completes Season Sweep Of UCF

Feb 13, 2024, 9:45 PM

BYU/UCF, Fousseyni Traore, Game Recap...

PROVO, UT - FEBRUARY 13: Fousseyni Traore #45 of the Brigham Young Cougars is pressured by Omar Payne #5 of the University of Central Florida Knights during the first half of their game at the Marriott Center on February 13, 2024, in Provo, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball coach Mark Pope expected a “slugfest” against UCF. That’s what BYU got on Tuesday night against the Knights.

BYU had to work for an entire 40 minutes against the Knights in a physical game that lasted two hours and 32 minutes.

UCF made a late rally, but BYU held on to secure a 90-88 win. It was BYU’s second victory over UCF this season.

BYU defeated the Knights a month ago on January 13 in Orlando.

Jaxson Robinson led the way in scoring for BYU with 21 points. Starting power forward Noah Waterman had a big game with 17 points and nine rebounds.

BYU basketball improves to 6-5 in Big 12 Conference action, 18-6 overall. It’s the first time this season that BYU is above .500 in Big 12 play.

BYU built a double-digit lead over UCF in the first half

15:18 – It took a few minutes for BYU’s offense to find its footing. The Marriott Center lacked any energy to open the game as it was a late arriving crowd. Maybe it had an impact on the players.

But then Trevin Knell took matters into his own hands, scoring all eight of BYU’s points in the opening minutes.

Knell was also making his presence felt on the defensive end. UCF’s Shemarri Allen was called for an offensive foul after making contact with Knell above the shoulders. It resulted in Allen’s second foul. BYU 8, UCF 0.

10:51 – Fousseyni Traore checked into the game from the second unit and immediately drew a foul and proceeded to knock down two free throws to give BYU a game-high 11-point lead at 15-4.

But then BYU committed a couple of turnovers that led to UCF points. One, in particular, was a poor pass from Traore intended from Hall that caught everyone standing still. Hall then committed an intentional foul to prevent the fastbreak layup. BYU 17, UCF 9.

7:21 – Trevin Knell is up to 10 points after knocking down two free throws in a one-and-one situation.

Richie Saunders hit BYU’s third three of the game out of 10 attempts. BYU 26, UCF 16.

3:58 – UCF reeled off a 12-2 run over the last 4:17 to cut BYU’s lead down to four. The Knights are forcing BYU into turnovers and getting to the hoop.

BYU attempted a full-court press that didn’t work, and it led to a UCF slam dunk.

Aly Khalifa had an uncharacteristic two turnovers and zero assists start to the game.

Omar Payne and Antwaan Jones combined for 10 points. BYU 28, UCF 24.

1:00 – Jaxson Robinson put to rest a four-minute field goal drought for BYU on a long-range three-pointer that resulted in a four-point play. It brought some life into the quiet Marriott Center crowd. BYU 36, UCF 24.

HALF – Jaxson Robinson hit another three-pointer at the buzzer to give BYU a 13-point lead at the break.

In Saturday’s win over Kansas State, BYU shot 47% from the free throw line. They made sure to fix that against the Knights. BYU was 14-of-15 in the first half from the free throw line.

UCF Second Half

15:44 – Noah Waterman buried a three-pointer and Trevin Knell scored a layup to push BYU’s lead out to 17. UCF’s Jaylin Sellers hit a three-pointer that ended 23 consecutive missed threes against BYU (dating back to January’s meeting). BYU 48, UCF 31.

14:15 – Just like that, UCF has cut BYU’s lead to seven. The Knights reeled off a 12-1 run due to six BYU turnovers caused by UCF’s full-court pressure. BYU 48, UCF 41.

11:53 – Stepping out of the timeout after UCF’s 12-1 run, Dallin Hall knocked down a much-needed three for BYU and himself. Hall didn’t hit a field goal up to that point.

Moments later, Hall hit a floater in the pain, drawing an and-one.

Trevin Knell picked up his fourth personal foul. BYU 58, UCF 46.

7:57 – BYU expected a slugfest coming into the matchup with UCF; that’s what they are getting. The Knights won’t go down without a battle.

Jaylin Sellers had a slam dunk to bring BYU’s lead down to eight.

BYU is up to 15 turnovers in the game. BYU 62, UCF 54.

4:35 – The alley-oop show starring Atiki Ally Atiki. Atiki threw down two lob passes and then BYU attempted a third before Shemarri Allen fouled him.

UCF’s full-court press continues to give BYU headaches as the Knights were able to put together a quick 4-0 run, forcing BYU to burn a timeout. BYU 70, UCF 61.

2:12 – Jaxson Robinson buries a corner three after some impressive ball handling from Dallin Hall. BYU 80, UCF 69.

FINAL – UCF knocked down four three-pointers in the final minute to make things tense for BYU. But ultimately BYU held off the Knights with a 90-88 victory.

Up next for BYU basketball

BYU goes on the road to face the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is at Noon (MT)/1 p.m. (CT) on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM).

Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State will be the first meeting in Stillwater between the two programs since 1971. It will be the first matchup since BYU defeated Oklahoma State at the Delta Center in 2003.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for 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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