BYU’s 87-73 win Wednesday over UCF in the Big 12 conference tournament featured a number of impressive individual efforts from the Cougars, but arguably none more notable than that of center Aly Khalifa.

For the first time in his life, Khalifa — an Egyptian member of the Islamic faith — chose to fast during a game in observance of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The dynamic big man posted eight points with five assists and a team-high plus/minus mark of +25 without eating or drinking before or during the contest.

“I felt good. I was a little tired obviously because of Ramadan, but it felt good to just go out and compete with the guys and get the win,” Khalifa told Jason Kinander of TSTV Sports after the game.

As previously reported by Jay Drew of the Deseret News, Khalifa had always planned on fasting during Ramadan, even as the Cougars take part in the Big 12 tournament and upcoming March Madness festivities.

Most Muslims fast during Ramadan, which began on March 10 and runs through April 9. Khalifa had previously told Drew he would stop eating food and drinking water at approximately 6 a.m. each day during Ramadan, then begin eating and drinking again after sundown.

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“If the tournament games are in the middle of the day, that is going to be pretty tough,” Khalifa told the Deseret News. “But I want to do it. I told (BYU head athletic trainer Rob Ramos) and others that I am doing it. I feel like I have the power in me to play games while fasting.”

Khalifa shared that while playing during his fast felt “pretty different,” he could feel the support of his teammates to help lighten his burden.

“It was pretty hard obviously, pretty tough,” Khalifa told Kinander, “but I know I got my guys here to take care of me and lift me up whenever I’m tired. That’s what I got a team for.”

With BYU’s win over UCF, the Cougars will take on Texas Tech in the tournament quarterfinals Thursday. BYU fell to the Red Raiders 85-78 in the teams’ lone meeting so far this season back on Jan. 20.

Khalifa scored 21 points with seven rebounds and three assists in that game.

“Obviously we lost over there when we had the lead for a long time,” Khalifa said. “We’re really excited. For me, it’s revenge time, just to go out there, show them who we are and hopefully get the win tomorrow.”