Takeaways From BYU’s Missed Opportunity At Iowa State

Mar 6, 2024, 10:43 PM | Updated: Mar 7, 2024, 2:49 pm

No. 20 BYU basketball lost at No. 6 Iowa State 68-63 in Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.

BYU had a 14-point lead with 15:56 to go in the game, but 17 turnovers allowed the Cyclones to storm back to a senior night victory.

Here are some takeaways from BYU’s setback, which dropped the Cougars to 21-9 overall and 9-8 in Big 12 action.

No timeouts played a role in BYU’s late turnovers

BYU closed out the game with three turnovers. In total, BYU finished with 17 turnovers against the second-ranked adjusted defensive team in college basketball.

Late in the game, you’ve got to wonder how much the lack of a timeout sped BYU up.

BYU didn’t get shot attempts up due to the turnovers. Point guard Dallin Hall accounted for two of those turnovers, while Fousseyni Traore was called for a travel.

With less than 90 seconds left, BYU got an indirect extra timeout thanks to a lengthy review on an obvious out-of-bounds call off Traore. But in the final seven minutes, BYU had no timeouts to work with.

The final timeout was called with seven minutes to go in the game. Senior Spencer Johnson dribbled into the corner of the court and was trapped. He then burned a timeout.

Richie Saunders continues to perform at a high level

BYU forward Richie Saunders had another impressive game on Wednesday. Off the bench, Saunders finished with 20 points and three rebounds.

He shot 7-12 from the field and 3-6 from three-point range.

Last season, as a freshman, Saunders’ role was inconsistent. This season, he’s emerged as a guy BYU can rely on for high-level production on both ends of the floor.

Saunders was key in helping BYU build a double-digit lead at the halftime break.

BYU needs to do a better job of finishing off teams when they have big leads

If BYU took care of business in two road games with double-digit leads this season in league play, they would be looking at a bye to the quarterfinal of the Big 12 Conference Tournament.

Instead, BYU will have to play an extra game in the Big 12 Tournament next week in Kansas City.

The loss at Iowa State and the setback against Texas Tech in January are gut-punch losses that not only hurt seeding in the Big 12 Tournament but also missed opportunities to get into the Top 16 seeds of the NCAA Tournament.

You could also add the loss at Baylor in Waco in January as well. BYU had a nine-point lead in that one before the Bears stormed back.

Kansas State coach Jerome Tang said last month that BYU’s style of play allows you to get back into games. That might be true. However, BYU must find a way to finish the job and take advantage of these opportunities.

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.

Take us with you wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

BYU Cougars

Tom Holmoe, BYU Basketball, Royal Blue NIL...

Mitch Harper

Tom Holmoe Promotes BYU’s NIL Collective Amid Basketball Coach Search

BYU athletic director sent a message to fans during the head coach search.

8 hours ago

BYU Softball, Oklahoma Sooners...

Mitch Harper

BYU Softball Pulls Off Upset At No. 2 Oklahoma

BYU softball pulls off a notable upset over No. 2 Oklahoma in Norman.

21 hours ago

Aly Khalifa, BYU Basketball, Transfer Portal...

Mitch Harper

BYU Center Aly Khalifa Enters NCAA Transfer Portal, Per Report

Khalifa played one season with the BYU basketball program.

1 day ago

BYU Basketball, Tom Holmoe, Mark Pope...

Mitch Harper

AD Tom Holmoe Sees BYU Basketball In ‘Position Of Strength’ After Mark Pope

BYU athletic director is leading his third men's basketball head coach search.

1 day ago

BYU Basketball, Dallin Hall, Transfer Portal...

Mitch Harper

BYU Guard Dallin Hall Enters NCAA Transfer Portal

The Honorable Mention All-Big 12 guard has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal.

1 day ago

Mark Madsen, BYU Basketball, Cal Head Coach...

Mitch Harper

Mark Madsen Cuts BYU Speculation With Commitment To Cal Basketball

BYU can take Mark Madsen off the list of potential head coach candidates.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Takeaways From BYU’s Missed Opportunity At Iowa State