PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – The BYU basketball team is limping towards the finish line in the 2022-23 season.
The Cougars trailed by as many as 20 points at home to Santa Clara in a 81-74 loss to the Broncos at the Marriott Center Thursday night.
This was Santa Clara’s first victory in Provo since 1972.
“Super disappointing outcome,” said BYU head coach Mark Pope. “It was a super disappointing first half. I was proud of the guys for having some fight in the second half. We just have to get better in 100 different ways.”
In front of over a dozen NBA scouts, Brandin Podziemski scored 28 points for the Broncos, while Keshawn Justice added 19, as Santa Clara completed the season sweep over BYU.
The Cougars (16-13, 6-8 West Coast Conference) have lost three straight games and have now dropped eight conference games for the first time since joining the WCC.
Rudi Williams led BYU with 20 points off the bench, making 7 of 11 shots from the field. Fousseyni Traore added 13 points, while Spencer Johnson scored 11.
Outside of Williams and Traore, BYU shot just 31 percent from the field.
Trey Stewart finished with a career-high nine points to go along with two rebounds and two steals as the Cougars outscored the Broncos 35-14 in bench points.
“I am super proud of Trey,” said Pope. “He’s on the path to becoming a really special player. He did not get any opportunities last year and he has had up and down opportunities this year. He is handling this right and letting it grow him into a really special competitor and he has got a terrific future.”
Santa Clara made 49.1 percent of its shots in improving to 20-8 on the season.
BYU next plays at #17 St. Mary’s Saturday night before wrapping up the regular season February 25th at home against San Francisco.
“I have so much confidence in this group,” Pope said. “I have every expectation that we’ll go down there and rise to the challenge by meeting their competitive level. We’ll keep growing and learning, that’s what we’re about.”