Questions Answered Against Saint Mary’s

PROVO, Utah – The BYU basketball team played No. 22 Saint Mary’s down to the wire, but came up one play short losing 57-56.

Let’s answer some questions from another gut-wrenching BYU loss.

Who was the MVP for BYU basketball?

Fousseyni Traore did a nice job defensively against a much larger frontcourt.

However, I thought Dallin Hall was the MVP for the Cougars.

He scored a career-high 23 points, but missed a late free throw is what will be remembered from this game.

Dallin Hall is THAT MAN!

11 points here after a sweet reverse lay-up.

He’s changed the game with his offense for #BYU

— Matthew Baiamonte (@baiamontematt) January 29, 2023

BYU only had eight points as a team with 8:33 left in the first half.

Enter Dallin Hall.

The freshman point guard scored all 11 of his first-half points after that point in the game.

He continued to score in the second half, pouring into another 12 points.

Sadly, Hall missed three free throws late in the game which cost BYU.

With that being said, it’s unfair to blame Hall for the loss.

He was the only Cougar to make more than 50 percent of his field goals and he only turned the ball over one time.

The future is extremely bright for Hall, but that won’t comfort the pain of what could have been.

What was something that caught my attention during the game?

Nobody thought Treyden Christensen would see any game time against Saint Mary’s the morning before the game.

Things can change almost in sports.

An hour before tip-off BYU announced that Jaxson Robinson, Noah Waterman, and Atiki Ally Atiki were unavailable due to a violation of team rules.

Without Trevin Knell and Tanner Toolson who are sidelined with injuries, head coach Mark Pope dug into his bench.

Christensen, who transferred from Chaminade, provided some nice minutes when Traore needed a breather.

He played seven minutes with a plus/minus of five.

The moment wasn’t too big for him.

What was the most interesting stat from the game?

The game was so evenly played from a statistical point of view it’s hard to believe.

Both teams made six three-point field goals.

They were within one percentage point of each other regarding field goal percentage.

BYU and Saint Mary’s both had 12 turnovers and less than 10 assists.

What was the difference?

The free throw line.

#BYU 🏀 falls in heartbreaking fashion as Saint Mary’s Aidan Mahaney hits a game-winning fadeaway jumper with 0.3 seconds left to beat the Cougars 57-56.

— KSL Sports (@kslsports) January 29, 2023

Saint Mary’s made seven of their eight attempts meanwhile the Cougars only made six of their 10 attempts.

Quite simply, if the Cougars made 80 percent of their chances from the stripe, they win this ball game.

When was the game lost for BYU basketball?

On the final play of the game.

I thought BYU played great defense on the game-winning shot by Aidan Mahaney.

One could knit-pick the switch by Gideon George, but Traore forced Mahaney into a difficult fadeaway jump shot.

Credit to him for making a great shot.

There were only 0.3 seconds left on the clock, which didn’t allow the Cougars enough time to get a quality look.

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

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