PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – The BYU basketball team made an early season statement Friday night, knocking off #17 San Diego State at the Marriott Center, 74-65.
Dallin Hall scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half, and led five Cougars in double figures as BYU pulled out a significant win at home.
“I thought we were terrific in transition events, truly terrific,” said BYU head coach Mark Pope. “When we could get something going in transition, there was just a couple of feet more space, and it was really effective for us. I was proud of our guys that they kept trying to find ways to get past defenders and have some attack flavor. It was enough tonight.”
BYU fell behind 7-0 but found its footing and pulled ahead to a 33-28 halftime lead. San Diego State fed off BYU turnovers to start the second half and led by as many as four in the period before the Cougars retook the lead at 51-50. BYU never looked back, using stingy defense, key three-point makes and accurate free-throw shooting to hold on down the stretch.
Hall scored 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field including 4-of-8 from deep to go along with three assists. While Hall ruled the second half, Robinson reigned in the first for BYU. The senior sharpshooter scored all 12 of his points in the opening period while also registering four boards and a block.
Fousseyni Traore put up 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists while Spencer Johnson scored 10 along with seven rebounds. Richie Saunders came off the bench to score 12 on 3-of-4 from the field and 6-of-6 from the line.
San Diego State out-shot BYU 45 to 43 percent from the field though the Cougars’ 37 percent from 3-point range outdid the Aztecs’ 28 percent. BYU came up big from the charity stripe in the closing minutes and shot 75 percent for the game. The Cougars outrebounded San Diego State 42-32 and flexed their depth, outscoring the Aztecs 42-9 in points off the bench.
The hard-fought, physical game saw Cougars and Aztecs alike sprawled on the hardwood wrestling for loose balls from start to finish. Thirty-seven combined fouls were assessed while three players fouled out across both teams.
BYU will next host Southeastern Louisiana Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m.