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No. 20 BYU Travels To No. 6 Iowa State For Final Road Game

Mar 5, 2024, 6:11 PM

BYU/Iowa State, Game Preview, Big 12, Richie Saunders...

BYU/Iowa State is a matchup of two Top 20 teams in Big 12 Conference action. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

BYU basketball looks to extend its two-game winning streak in the Big 12 Conference on Wednesday night at No. 6 Iowa State.

The Cougars are riding high after a win over nationally-ranked Kansas and at home after a 17-point comeback to defeat TCU.

Those two victories sent BYU back into the AP Top 25 poll at No. 20, entering the final week of the regular season.

Facing Iowa State in Hilton Coliseum might be the most challenging venue BYU plays in this season. The Cyclones have already defeated Houston and Kansas in Hilton.

Iowa State will also have the element of revenge on their mind entering this Senior Day tilt.

Earlier this season in Provo, BYU handed Iowa State on January 16 its biggest loss during Big 12 play this season. BYU defeated Iowa State 87-75 in a game where Spencer Johnson scored 28 points and the Cougars hit 13 threes in the win.

Wednesday night’s game at Hilton Coliseum was bumped up from a Big 12 Now on ESPN+ to a linear television spot on ESPN2. It’s the final regular season road game for BYU.

BYU vs. Iowa State: How To Watch, Listen

Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Location: Hilton Coliseum

Tip-Off: 7 p.m. (MT)/8 p.m. (CT)

TV: ESPN2

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM – Pregame begins at 6 p.m.).

What you need to know about No. 20 BYU Basketball

BYU basketball is 21-8 overall and 9-7 in the Big 12. Entering this matchup, BYU is currently the 5-seed in the Big 12 Conference Tournament in Kansas City.

They are comfortably in all bracketology projections, with the theme being a 5-seed in Salt Lake City.

“They’re a really good team. Certainly, a unique team with the way they shoot the basketball, as many threes they take,” said Iowa State coach TJ Otzelberger. “Playing the five-man a lot on the perimeter. So we expect them to come in here highly competitive.”

BYU had impactful performances from point guard Dallin Hall in the last two games. The sophomore from Fremont, Utah, was called the “best sophomore player” in college basketball by his teammate Trevin Knell during a radio postgame on the BYU Sports Network after Saturday’s win over TCU.

Last week, Hall combined for 30 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds in those two wins.

Reserve forward Richie Saunders was also impactful against TCU. Coming in off the bench, Saunders attacked downhill and helped BYU pull off a 17-point halftime comeback. It was the largest comeback win at the break in the Mark Pope era.

Saunders’ intensity can be a thorn in the side of opposing teams. In the first meeting against Iowa State, Cyclones forward Hason Ward dished out an elbow at Saunders that hit him in the throat.

Ward was called for a flagrant two-foul and ejected from the game.

Fousseyni Traore had a big week as well for the Cougars. In the win at Kansas, Traore had his highest-graded game of the season, according to Mark Pope. Then, against TCU, he scored a team-high 21 points.

BYU is getting contributions from everywhere. But road games have been a mixed bag of results for BYU.

In BYU’s three Big 12 road wins, they have hit at least nine threes. Two of the three wins saw BYU hit 13 shots from beyond the arc.

Getting up to speed on the No. 6 Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State is one of the hottest teams in the country. The Cyclones have won 10 of their last 12 since the loss to BYU.

The losses were at Baylor after a Milan Momcilovic shot was waved off at the final buzzer. Then, a setback at No. 1 Houston. That’s it.

“They’re an incredible team. And it’s an incredible venue. I’m excited for the guys to go experience it,” said BYU coach Mark Pope on Iowa State. “…We were just in Kansas, which is amazing and we’re rolling right back out to it.”

Pope continued, “I’ve been [to Hilton Coliseum] a couple of times. They’re an incredible team. They have great leadership and they’re really athletic, really skilled. They play incredible basketball everywhere, but especially at home. So it’s gonna be a massive challenge for our guys.”

Iowa State is undefeated at home this season. They are looking for only their fifth perfect record at Hilton Coliseum in their history (1985-86, 1992-93, 1999-00, and 2000-01).

Iowa State enters this game after securing a road win at UCF. The Cyclones used an 11-0 run to pull away from the Knights in Orlando.

Four players scored in double-figures for Iowa State in that win, led by Tre King with 16 points.

Iowa State’s calling card is on defense. ISU only ranks behind Houston in Big 12 play for points allowed per game with 64.3 per game to opponents.

On offense, they are 12th in the league at 68.8 points per game.

The top player for Iowa State is sophomore guard Tamin Lipsey. Lipsey had to leave the first meeting against BYU early due to a shoulder injury. He’s averaging 12.3 points and 5.2 assists this season.

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. 20 BYU Travels To No. 6 Iowa State For Final Road Game