No. 25 BYU Earns Critical Big 12 Home Win Over No. 11 Baylor

Feb 20, 2024, 9:17 PM | Updated: Feb 21, 2024, 10:48 am

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball earned a critical bounceback victory by defeating No. 11 Baylor in front of a sold-out crowd at the Marriott Center.

No. 25 BYU took down No. 11 Baylor 78-71.

It was a night and day difference from the BYU team that lost by 10 to Oklahoma State last Saturday.

With the win, BYU improved to 19-7 overall and is now 7-6 in Big 12 Conference play.

Baylor falls to 19-7, 8-5 in the Big 12.

BYU guard/forward Jaxson Robinson shined, scoring a team-high 16 points. He knocked down four of BYU’s 14 three-pointers in the victory.

BYU’s 14 threes were the most they have made in a game since nonconference play when they hit 14 against Wyoming on December 30.

BYU finished the game 14-of-36 from three-point range.

Aly Khalifa had an excellent game scoring 14 points, grabbing seven rebounds, dishing out seven assists and zero turnovers.

Jalen Bridges led the way in scoring for Baylor with 15 points.

First Half: BYU starts slow, roars back to take a lead over Baylor

15:01 – Baylor jumped out to a strong start with an 8-0 lead before BYU could catch their breath.

The early run was led by Jalen Bridges with five, and then potential first-round pick Ja’Kobe Walter with an athletic and-one bucket.

Noah Waterman got BYU on the board with a three-pointer, then Aly Khalifa hit one of his own.

Baylor started the game, shooting 83% from the field. Baylor 13, BYU 8.

11:58 – BYU was hanging around with Baylor despite the Bears shooting 88% from the field. The Cougars scored five points on second-chance opportunities.

Baylor got a boost from its bench with Langston Love playing after three games away due to an ankle injury. He stepped in and contributed to the high level of shot-making from the Bears in the opening minutes. Baylor 18, BYU 12.

10:22 – Mark Pope made a change at point guard, moving from Dallin Hall or Trey Stewart in favor of Jaxson Robinson. Robinson earned point guard minutes against Baylor in the first meeting on January 9.

7:30 – Spencer Johnson knocked down a three to cut BYU’s deficit to one. It was the first time in the game that the near-capacity Marriott Center crowd was loud and on its feet. But Jalen Bridges quickly silenced them with a banked-in three-pointer. Baylor 25, BYU 21.

6:56 – Richie Saunders was called for a flagrant one foul on Miro Little. BYU’s student section was chanting “flopper” at Little, who popped up after staying on the floor for some extended time.

5:33 – Baylor burned a timeout after Dallin Hall knocked down a three to give BYU its first lead. The Marriott Center was loud after that triple from Hall. BYU 29, Baylor 27.

3:44 – Fans were not happy after Dallin Hall picked up his second foul in what appeared to be a possession where he got hooked by Baylor’s Langston Love. BYU 29, BU 29.

Halftime – BYU’s offense came alive to close out the first half. Aly Khalifa found a wide-open Trevin Knell for a layup, then hit a three from his go-to spot at the top of the arc.

Spencer Johnson provided valuable minutes down the stretch with an and-one. Then, he grabbed an offensive board on the following offensive series to find a wide-open Aly Khalifa for three.

That was three of BYU’s 13 second-chance points in the first half. Baylor had zero second-opportunity points.

Baylor’s hot shooting start cooled off to 54% at the break. BYU entered the half shooting 46%. BYU 42, Baylor 37.

Second Half: BYU never let go of the lead against Baylor

13:37 – Baylor jumped out to a 6-0 run to open the half. It had the makings of the same lackluster start as the first half. But BYU responded quicker this time around.

Noah Waterman had a clear path and walked to the hoop for an easy bucket.

Baylor made it an emphasis to give Yves Missi touches early in the second half. One of his post touches resulted in an offensive foul on Dallin Hall.

Aly Khalifa continues to shine for BYU as he knocked down a three before the media timeout.

On the final play before the timeout, Baylor’s Langston Love fell to the floor and had to be carried to the locker room by teammates. He missed the last three games due to an ankle injury. BYU 52, Baylor 47.

11:32 – Baylor’s Caleb Lohner’s first points of the game were on an alley-oop slam dunk. BYU fans followed that with a smattering of boos.

On BYU’s offensive possession, Lohner was then called for a foul. The BYU student section then began chanting, “Thank you, Caleb!” BYU 54, Baylor 51.

8:13 – A technical foul was called on the BYU bench. The first time the BYU bench has been called for a technical since the last meeting against Baylor on January 9.

The technical was on the heels of Jaxson Robinson being called for a foul on Ja’Kobe Walter.

It didn’t matter as Jaxson Robinson helped BYU build a game-high lead of eight with two three-pointers. BYU 62, Baylor 54.

7:38 – The announced attendance is a sell-out, with 17,978 fans inside the Marriott Center.

3:45 – BYU fans were excited after Aly Khalifa found Richie Saunders cutting past Caleb Lohner for a layup.

On BYU’s following possession, Dallin Hall had a chance to give BYU its first double-digit lead on a three-pointer, but it hit iron.

Jalen Bridges had a shot initially ruled as a three, deemed a two-pointer, then, during the media timeout, was officially ruled a three. BYU 68, Baylor 62.

1:45 – Baylor cut BYU’s lead to four before Trevin Knell knocked down a clutch three-pointer to put the Cougars back in front by seven.

Richie Saunders then blocked a shot by Ja’Kobe Walter. Dallin Hall missed a layup after blowing past Bridges.

Jayden Dunn went on the attack and got a layup of his own. BYU 71, Baylor 66.

Final – Coming out of BYU’s timeout, the Cougars drew up an inbounds play that found a wide-open Jaxson Robinson for a three—his fourth three of the night.

BYU 78, Baylor 71

Up next for BYU basketball

BYU goes back on the road this Saturday to face Kansas State in Manhattan. Back on February 10, BYU defeated Kansas State 72-66 in Provo.

BYU will be making its first visit to Manhattan since 1973.

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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No. 25 BYU Earns Critical Big 12 Home Win Over No. 11 Baylor