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No. 6 Seed BYU Falls To Physical No. 11 Duquesne In NCAA First Round

Mar 21, 2024, 1:07 PM | Updated: 2:25 pm

BYU/Duquesne, Game Recap, NCAA Tournament...

OMAHA, NEBRASKA - MARCH 21: Jaxson Robinson #2 of the Brigham Young Cougars drives the ball around Matus Hronsky #14 of the Duquesne Dukes in the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at CHI Health Center on March 21, 2024 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

OMAHA, Neb. – BYU basketball fell to Duquesne in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

The No. 6 seed Cougars started slow against No. 11 Dukes. That allowed the physical underdog to impose its style of play on BYU.

Duquesne defeated BYU 71-67 at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

It’s the second time in the Mark Pope era that BYU has lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament as a 6-seed to an 11-seed.

BYU’s three-point shooting went cold against the Dukes as they only hit eight threes falling to the defensive-minded A-10 Tournament Champions.

BYU guard Jaxson Robinson looked to carry the Cougars from a large deficit by scoring 25 points. But it wasn’t enough as Duquesne star Dae Dae Grant scored 19 points to carry the Dukes to the NCAA win.

RELATED: LeBron James Sends Gift To Duquesne Before NCAA Game Against BYU

First Half: A slow start leaves BYU trailing Duquesne

15:41 – Awful start for BYU once again. The Cougars were scoreless in the opening four minutes of action.

Duquesne’s physicality on defense rattled BYU. From the opening tip, it was bully ball, and guard Dallin Hall felt the brunt of that with an elbow to the nose, resulting in a bloody nose.

Hall briefly left for the locker room. Upon his return to the bench, he had two cotton swabs in both nostrils. Duquesne 7, BYU 0.

10:34 – Jaxson Robinson got BYU on the board at the 14:52 mark with a pair of free throws, but Duquesne’s physical play has disrupted BYU’s offense.

The Cougars were rushed on offense, but Jaxson Robinson provided a spark off the bench, knocking down a pair of threes. Duquesne 17, BYU 10.

6:06 – BYU grabbed its first lead of the game thanks to a three-pointer from Jaxson Robinson. The three put Robinson up to 13 points at that point.

But Duquesne immediately answered with a three from Jake DiMichele.

Jakub Necas then blocked BYU center Aly Khalifa from Duquesne and the Dukes star guard Dae Dae Grant hit a floater in the paint to put them back in front by four. Duquesne 24, BYU 20.

3:11 – Duquesne reeled off a 12-1 run and BYU was on a 4:14 drought without a field goal.

The offensive struggles extended to the free-throw line, as Dallin Hall missed the front end of a one-and-one. Then, Fousseyni Traore was one of two.

Dukes star Dae Dae Grant started to heat up, hitting back-to-back field goals. Then Necas knocked down a three.

BYU committed costly turnovers from Richie Saunders and Spencer Johnson. Duquesne 31, BYU 21.

HALF – BYU trailed Duquesne 38-30 at the break.

The Cougars put together a 7-0 run before the half, but then Dukes forward Jakub Necas countered with a 5-0 run of his own.

BYU finished the first half 2-7 on layups. Jaxson Robinson, with 13 points, was BYU’s leading scorer.

The lead man for Duquesne was Dae Dae Grant, who scored 12 points. Duquesne 38, BYU 30.

Second Half

19:40 – There was a stoppage in the game, twenty seconds into the half after BYU’s Noah Waterman and Duquesne’s Fousseyni Drame hit the deck, battling for a rebound.

While on the ground, Drame then leaned into Waterman.

After an official review, both players received a technical foul. Waterman had a cut on his right cheek. DU 38, BYU 30.

16:44 – BYU burns a timeout after the Duquesne’s Jake DiMichele buries a corner three.

The double technical foul on Waterman and Traore from Duquesne was a tone-setter. DU 46, BYU 32

15:54 – Fousseyni Traore and Jaxson Robinson checked into the game for BYU. Traore missed a gimmie at the rim. DU 46, BYU 32.

11:47 – BYU opened the second half 0-5 from three-point range. Richie Saunders and Dallin Hall had two wide-open looks on one possession and couldn’t knock them down.

There was the definition of a “Ball Don’t Lie” moment when a phantom fouled Dusan Mahorcic. Refs called a foul on BYU, and Mahorcic followed that up, missing the two free throws. DU 48, BYU 42.

7:41 – Jaxson Robinson puts BYU on his back to cut the deficit to three points. Robinson hit his previous three field goal attempts to reach 22 points. Duquesne 52, BYU 49.

Final – BYU got close many times, but the Dukes always had an answer.

Two costly mistakes sunk BYU down the stretch, a turnover out of a timeout that resulted in a Jimmy Clark slam dunk. Then on a Duquesne free throw, BYU forgot to box out the shooter, allowing the Dukes to extend their possession.

Up next for BYU basketball

BYU’s season comes to a close with a record of 23-11 on the 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. 6 Seed BYU Falls To Physical No. 11 Duquesne In NCAA First Round