April 17, 2024

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BYU Basketball' 3 keys to No. 25 BYU's 78-71 win over No. 11 Baylor

BYU Basketball' 3 keys to No. 25 BYU's 78-71 win over No. 11 Baylor

BYU held serve at home in a crucial Big 12 Conference basketball game Tuesday night, defeating Baylor 78-71 at the Marriott Center in front of a crowd of 17,978.

The No. 25 Cougars made 14 3-pointers and got 16 points from Jackson Robinson to avenge an 81-72 loss to the No. 11 Bears in Waco, Texas, last month.

The Cougars improved to 7-6 in league play, 19-7 overall, and won their fourth straight game at home.

The Bears fell to 8-5 and 19-7.

Here are 3 keys to the Cougars winning:

• The main stat for the match was Second Chance Points. The Cougars grabbed 16 offensive rebounds and turned them into 20 second-chance points. Baylor had only four second-chance points.

BYU big man Ali Khalifa was 4 of 6 from 3-point range, finishing with 14 points. He also added seven rebounds and seven assists as the Cougars outscored the Bears 39-30.

• Miro Little drew what officials deemed a flagrant foul — it appeared Little fumbled, at least a little — on Richie Saunders and made two free throws to give Baylor a 27-21 lead with seven minutes remaining in the first half.

But the questionable call woke up the Cougars, and they went on an 8-0 run to take their first lead, 29-27, with 5:33 remaining in the first half. BYU got back into it with second-chance points, outscoring the visitors 13-0 in that category in the first half.

BYU shot 38% from 3-point range (8 of 21) to also help it jump out to a 42-37 halftime lead.

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• Jalen Bridges lit up BYU for 25 points — 17 in the second half — in the Bears' 81-72 win in Waco, but for some reason the Cougars left the guard alone for a 3-pointer just 20 seconds into the game. Bridges' shot put the visitors ahead and they quickly took an 18-10 lead.

Baylor made nine of its first 11 shots and looked like it would run the Cougars out of the Marriott Center gym early. They finished the half with a percentage of 54% (13 out of 24), calming down significantly after that hot start.

Bridges led the Bears with 15 points, but Baylor had just five of its 20 points from 3-point range.