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Road Woes Continue For No. 25 BYU With Loss At Kansas State

Feb 24, 2024, 2:30 PM | Updated: Feb 25, 2024, 1:08 pm

The road issues continue for BYU basketball as they lost at Kansas State on Saturday, 84-74.

K-State’s Arthur Kaluma scored a career-high 28 points to lead the Wildcats. His previous career-high (27) was also against BYU when he was a member of Creighton in 2021.

As they did a week ago at Oklahoma State, BYU got off to a slow start. K-State opened the game with a 12-point lead in the first four minutes.

Coming into the game, Kansas State was shooting 27% from three in its previous three games. Against BYU, they knocked down 47% of their three-point attempts.

By comparison, BYU was fresh off a 14-made 3-point outing against Baylor. On Saturday, BYU hit only six threes on 31 attempts. That’s a 19% hit rate.

Five BYU players finished with double-figures, led by Jaxson Robinson, who had 15 points. Noah Waterman had a good game with 12 points and seven rebounds.

However, K-State had more firepower than Arthur Kaluma. Another four Wildcat players hit double figures, with guard Tylor Perry getting out of his shooting slump and scoring 16 points on 4 of 7 from three.

BYU falls to 19-8 overall and 7-7 in the Big 12.

Kansas State ends a three-game losing streak, improving to 15-12 and 6-8 in Big 12 action.

First Half: A slow start for BYU allowed Kansas State to build a lead

16:39 – Mark Pope had to burn an early timeout as BYU put together another slow start in a Big 12 road venue.

Kansas State entered the game, shooting 27% from 3-point range in their last three games. That didn’t appear to carry over to the opening stretch against BYU. Tylor Perry, recently in a shooting slump, hit his first two three-point attempts.

Meanwhile, BYU was missing badly on their first three 3-point attempts. Kansas State 12, BYU 2

15:56 – BYU committed its second turnover of the game. The first was from new father Spencer Johnson, who was trying to back down Tylor Perry. Then, three possessions later, Dallin Hall lost the possession. K-State 12, BYU 2.

13:57 – Noah Waterman came to play against Kansas State. Waterman delivered some of his best minutes of the season.

The 6-foot-11 big man put the ball on the deck and attacked the hoop to get to the free throw line. Then he blocked a shot and capped off a 10-0 run with a corner three, forcing Jerome Tang to call a timeout. K-State 16, BYU 14.

11:36 – BYU’s 10-0 run ended after David N’Guessan hit a third free throw attempt courtesy of a lane violation on Trevin Knell.

Aly Khalifa hit Jaxson Robinson with a beautiful pass on a cut for a layup. Khalifa is up to two assists.

K-State ended a four-minute field goal drought with a three-pointer from Arthur Kaluma. K-State 20, BYU 16.

7:18 – Jaxson Robinson is on the attack for BYU. He’s up to nine points and shooting 50% from the field. Robinson’s only misses are from three-point range (1-5).

The big men in the game exchanged buckets on both ends of the floor. BYU’s Fousseyni Traore had a pair of scores at the hoop, then on the other end, K-State’s Will McNair scored a pair. K-State continues to find answers to hold off BYU from grabbing a lead. K-State 28, BYU 24.

3:14 – BYU tied the game at 28, then K-State popped off an 8-2 run to maintain the lead. Richie Saunders cut the deficit with a stop on the defensive end, leaving K-State coaches and fans unhappy with the officials thinking he pushed Tylor Perry.

On the offensive end, Saunders buried a three-pointer, his first points of the game. K-State 36, BYU 33.

0:20 – Arthur Kaluma continues to be a problem for BYU. Saturday is his fourth meeting against the Cougars, dating back to his time with Creighton. In the first half, he scored 16 points and shot 4-of-6 from the field. While also grabbing six rebounds. K-State 42, BYU 38.

HALFTIME – BYU went into the halftime break trailing by four. K-State’s David N’Guessan had an opportunity to extend the Wildcats lead to six with a wide-open layup before the clock ran off.

Richie Saunders nearly hit a 3/4 of the court heave as the final second ticked away.

Spencer Johnson and Jaxson Robinson led BYU in scoring at the break with nine points each. K-State 42, BYU 38.

Second Half: Kansas State star Arthur Kaluma scores career-high as they pull away from BYU

15:58 – Kansas State jumped out to a quick 5-0 run to open the second half. It started with Arthur Kaluma hitting a mid-range shot to draw an and-one.

Dallin Hall and Aly Khalifa hit buckets at the rim. But BYU missed some opportunities to take the lead with a shot in the paint from Hall and a three at the top of the arc from Trevin Knell. Kansas State 49, BYU 43.

11:38 – During the broadcast, play-by-play announcer Pete Sousa said, “You have to remember, every game in the Big 12 is like a bar fight.” He wasn’t kidding, as both teams reached the bonus at the 12-minute mark of the first half.

Despite both teams drawing fouls, Kansas State is getting downhill and attacking the hoop. They built up a game-high lead.

BYU had possession before the media timeout, where they had three shot attempts and couldn’t convert. Guard Dallin Hall hunched over with his hands on his knees out of frustration after his corner miss. K-State 61, BYU 49.

6:41 – Kansas State went 5:25 of game action without a field goal make and built its lead up to a game-high 16 points.

BYU’s offense struggled. To give a spark and provide some athleticism in the frontcourt, Mark Pope to Atiki Ally Atiki. “Triple A” did that, scoring two buckets, one of which was a slam dunk. He had a third opportunity on a putback, but it went off the rim.

Noah Waterman also contributed five points to cut the deficit to 11.

The TV announcers made a big deal about Waterman’s “blowing a kiss” hand gesture after knocking down a three, implying he did that towards the K-State student section. They didn’t realize that Waterman makes that same gesture after every three, regardless of the venue. K-State 69, BYU 58.

2:21 – Richie Saunders lays it all on the line every game. Coming out of a timeout, Saunders forced a steal on a K-State inbounds, dove on the floor, and found Spencer Johnson open for a corner three.

Two offensive possessions later, Saunders hit a midrange turnaround to bring BYU within single digits. K-State 75, BYU 67.

FINAL – BYU battled until the end, but they never put a scare into the Wildcats, who ended a three-game losing streak.

Up next for BYU basketball

BYU will travel back to Provo tonight and return to Kansas on Monday night as they gear up for a matchup with No. 9 Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse.

Tip-off for BYU/Kansas is at 6 p.m. (MT) 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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Road Woes Continue For No. 25 BYU With Loss At Kansas State