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3 takeaways from BYU’s 82-71 loss to No. 1 Gonzaga

Gonzaga showed once again why it is the best team in the country, beating the Cougars 82-71 and remaining undefeated on the season.

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Brigham Young Cougars guard Brandon Averette (4) dribbles around Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Corey Kispert (24) during a basketball game at the Marriott Center in Provo on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Gonzaga showed once again why it is the best team in the country, beating the Cougars 82-71 and remaining undefeated on the season.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

  • Just like in the last meeting between the two teams, when Gonzaga went on a 16-2 run to open the game, the Bulldogs opened this contest on a 15-2 run. BYU missed a few early layups, which didn’t help, but Gonzaga was active defensively, forcing four turnovers during the opening run. The Bulldogs ended the game with 26 points off 19 Cougar turnovers.
  • That opening run by Gonzaga was the key to the game. BYU was in the game throughout, but the Bulldogs responded to every Cougar attempt to cut the lead with a run of their own. BYU cut the lead to eight multiple times in the second half, the latest coming with 15 minutes remaining in the game. Gonzaga immediately responded with a 7-0 run that pushed the lead to 15 points. The Cougars weren’t within single digits the rest of the way until 10 seconds left in the game.

  • Jalen Suggs and Drew Timme were fantastic for Gonzaga. Suggs scored 24 points, while Timme had 20 points and 13 rebounds. The Bulldogs’ ball movement provided lots of easy looks for Gonzaga.