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3 keys to No. 22 BYU’s impressive Big 12 road win over West Virginia

SHARE 3 keys to No. 22 BYU’s impressive Big 12 road win over West Virginia
BYU guard Dallin Hall (30) is defended by West Virginia guard Noah Farrakhan, center, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Kathleen Batten)

BYU guard Dallin Hall (30) is defended by West Virginia guard Noah Farrakhan, center, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Kathleen Batten)

AP

Fousseyni Traore scored 24 points, grabbed nine rebounds and filled in admirably for ailing big man Aly Khalifa as the BYU Cougars routed West Virginia 86-73 Saturday night in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Richie Saunders added 17 points, while Spencer Johnson chipped in 15 as the Cougars shot 48.5% percent from the floor and controlled the game from start to finish.

BYU led 38-29 at halftime and by as many as 17 points in the second half before West Virginia cut the deficit to five.

But Traore and Jaxson Robinson, who finished with 12 points, made some clutch buckets in the final five minutes and the Cougars prevailed to improve to 16-5 overall and 4-4 in Big 12 play.

West Virginia, which defeated Kansas, Cincinnati and Texas at home, fell to 8-14 and 3-6.

The Cougars will play at Oklahoma on Tuesday night.

Here are 3 keys to BYU’s impressive 13-point road victory:

• The Cougars were 13 of 36 from 3-point range (36.1%) and outscored West Virginia 19-17 in second-chance points to win their second straight Big 12 contest.

• West Virginia’s Jesse Edwards scored on a dunk five seconds into the game and was dominating early but picked up his second foul with 6:11 left in the first half and went to the bench for the remainder of the half. The Cougars went on an 8-0 run late in the half with Edwards out and kept the lead the rest of the game.

Edwards finished with 16 points, while Kerr Kriisa heated up in the second half and led the Mountaineers with 23.

• Khalifa stayed in Provo due to illness and injury and Noah Waterman was ailing and only played 16 minutes while not scoring, but the Cougar bench stepped up in a big way, led by Saunders. BYU’s bench outscored WVUs bench 27-16.