No. 20 BYU beats Oklahoma State to clinch 5th seed in Big 12 Tournament

Sun, Mar 10, 2024
NCAAB News (AP)

No. 20 BYU beats Oklahoma State to clinch 5th seed in Big 12 Tournament

PROVO, Utah (AP) - Fousseyni Traore scored 19 points and Jaxson Robinson added 17 to lead No. 20 BYU to an 85-71 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday night.

Spencer Johnson had 14 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the Cougars. BYU (22-9, 10-8 Big 12) earned its sixth straight home win and clinched the fifth seed in the upcoming Big 12 Tournament.

Javon Small led Oklahoma State with 34 points, including 29 of his team's 42 in the second half. The Cowboys (12-19, 4-14) dropped their fifth straight game and will be the 13th seed in the league tournament.

BYU broke open a close game by opening the second half with a 16-2 run. Spencer Johnson, Aly Khalifa and Trevin Knell combined to drain four 3-pointers over a four-minute span to give the Cougars a 48-31 lead.

Oklahoma State took nearly four minutes to score its first second-half basket and end the run.

BYU led by 25 when Robinson bookended a 10-0 run with a pair of baskets, putting the Cougars up 62-37 midway through the second half. Careless turnovers and lackadaisical defense by BYU helped spark a comeback.

Small made five straight baskets to cut the deficit in half. Justin McBride then converted a 3-point play to cap a 20-5 run that trimmed BYU's lead to 67-57.

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The Cowboys drew no closer after Traore and Dallin Hall stopped the run with back-to-back baskets.

Robinson attacked the rim frequently to help BYU weather inconsistent first-half offense. The senior guard made back-to-back layups and converted a pair of 3-point plays over a five-minute stretch to put the Cougars in front midway through the half.

BYU eventually extended its lead to 26-17 on back-to-back baskets from Noah Waterman and Knell. Oklahoma State cut the deficit to a basket before halftime, drawing within 32-29 on buckets from Brandon Garrison and Eric Dailey, Jr. in the final 1:06 of the half.

BIG PICTURE

Oklahoma State never figured things out on offense until late, ending any realistic shot at earning its second true road victory of the season.

BYU dominated offensively after halftime, aside from a few careless possessions. The Cougars shot 69% from the field over the final 20 minutes while knocking down eight 3-pointers.

UP NEXT

Oklahoma State will play UCF in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament on Tuesday.

BYU will face the winner of the UCF-Oklahoma State game in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball

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