BYU Basketball Questions Answered In Loss Against Utah

Dec 9, 2023, 9:24 PM

Brigham Young Cougars guard Richie Saunders (15) shoots the ball over Utah Utes center Lawson Lovering (34) during a men's basketball game at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The No. 14 BYU basketball team lost their first game of the season on the road against the Utah Utes 73-69.

Let’s answer some questions from the final rivalry matchup before both teams are in the Big 12 conference next season.

Who was the MVP for BYU basketball?

Jaxson Robinson led the Cougars in scoring off the bench with 17 points.

His scoring in the second half kept things close which included a four-point play opporutnity.

However, I thought Richie Saunders had a massive impact on this game. He’s my choice for MVP.

Saunders finished second on the team in scoring with 13 points.

He drilled a late three-pointer that allowed BYU the opportunity to have a crack at a game-winning moment.

His energy defensively helped BYU stay around in the first half as well.

What was the most interesting stat from the game?

BYU basketball has been a juggernaut offensively this season thanks to stellar outside shooting.

Unfortunately, the hot shooting for the Cougars went ice-cold against the Utes.

The nation’s leading three-point shooting team in terms of total made threes before the game only made seven of 30 attempts.

Winning games on the road is hard when the shooting percentage from deep is 23 percent.

It’s often feast or famine when you live and die by the three-point line and the drought came at the wrong time for BYU.

What was the play of the game?

The play of the game was one of the few turnovers BYU had in the loss.

With nine seconds remaining, Dallin Hall took the ball down the floor and dumped into Aly Khalifa in the high post.

Khalifa got it right back to Hall who was driving towards the basket.

Unfortunately, he lost the dribble out of bounds and the Cougars never got a final shot off.

The Cougars only committed seven turnoves, but the final turnover was costly.

When was the game lost for BYU?

Richie Saunders hit a three-point shot with 41 seconds left to cut the lead to two points.

BYU got a stop defensively, setting up a potential game-winning shot opportunity.

However, Hall turned the ball over after receiving a pass from Khalifa.

“We just weren’t us for enough minutes,” said head coach Mark Pope postgame.

Utah guard Rollie Worster made two free throws after a BYU foul and the perfect season came to an end.

You can hear Matt Baiamonte every Saturday on KSL Newsradio for Cougar Sports Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. or you can find him on Twitter here.

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BYU Basketball Questions Answered In Loss Against Utah