All hands on deck for BYU men’s basketball in 87-73 win over Nicholls State

“Everybody wants some.. I want some too..”

Such was the case for BYU men’s hoops Saturday night against Nicholls State, where the Cougars displayed their most impressive, fluid offensive performance of the young season in a 87-73 win over the Colonels.

“I loved our shooting tonight,” head coach Mark Pope said. “We did an unbelievable job earning shots for one another.”

BYU dished out 19 team assists and received scoring contributions from every member of the rotation, as all 10 Cougars who saw the floor found the scoreboard with seven players scoring at least seven points. Such balanced scoring proved critical in the second half, as BYU escaped a three-point halftime deficit to post 50 points in the final 20 minutes to run away with the victory.

“Overall, I feel like we did a good job sharing the ball,” point guard Rudi Williams said.

Sure, BYU still coughed up 18 turnovers and shot just 24% from three, but the Cougars shot 76% from inside the arc, made 27 trips to the free throw line, moved the ball more effectively than they had season and dominated on the glass for a commanding 54-31 advantage in the rebound battle, including 19 offensive boards.

“We really controlled the glass tonight,” Pope said. “We scored a lot of points off our offensive rebounds which contributed to this being a high scoring game.”

Fouss Traore and Gideon George led the Cougars with 15 points each, with George adding 10 rebounds and a pair of blocks.

“He’s really important.. when he’s right, it makes a huge difference for us,” Pope said of George.

Williams added 10 points and six assists, Richie Saunders scored nine points with nine boards and Atiki Ally Atiki enjoyed another stellar outing with 10 points on perfect shooting from the field, continuing to flash with greatness on the offensive end of the floor.

“He was so patient tonight, even in messy plays,” Pope said of Atiki. “I thought Atiki’s patience and poise in the paint after the catch was spectacular.”

Spencer Johnson and Noah Waterman battled inconsistent shooting on the evening for seven points each, and Trey Stewart came off the bench for a team-high plus/minus of +14 with four points and swatting two blocks.

The win gives BYU its first double-digit advantage of the season, as the Cougars move to 3-1 and head to The Bahamas Sunday for next week’s Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.

“It’ll be a fun, hoops-filled Thanksgiving,” Pope said.

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