BYU men’s hoops moves to 4-0 with dominant win over Morgan State
Could BYU be any hotter on the hardwood?
The Cougars cruised in a 93-50 win over Morgan State Saturday night at the Marriott Center, notching a 4-0 start to the young campaign as one of the most intriguing squads in the nation.
“We’re able to communicate with one another and work for each other,” guard Jaxson Robinson said after the win. “There’s not a selfish person on this team. Coach (Pope) has made a big emphasis that we are working as a team and communicating which are things people don’t see on TV or in the stands.”
A well-rounded offensive output headlined BYU’s victorious effort against the Bears, shooting 56% as a team with Robinson, Fouss Traore, Noah Waterman and Richie Saunders all scoring in double figures. Robinson and Waterman each posted career highs in points with 19 and 15, respectively, with Waterman grabbing a career-best eight rebounds as well.
“We’re competing at a high level in practice every day,” Waterman said. “Because of that, games feel easier with rebounding.”
The Cougars dished out 24 assists as a team compared to 11 total turnovers, with just two committed in the second half. While Morgan State guarded the perimeter respectably, BYU still managed to shoot 29 3-pointers and drain 10 of them.
Spencer Johnson and Dallin Hall combined for 15 points and 13 assists, with Saunders posting 12 points, four assists and three steals on the defensive end, where the Cougars forced 14 turnovers and held the Bears to just 34.9% shooting from the floor.
“Right now, I want it to be focused on communication,” head coach Mark Pope said of his defense. “If we get frustrated or things aren’t going perfectly, our talk decreases. It needs to increase. That’s something we’re trying to learn. Our togetherness needs to increase and I’d like that to be the DNA of us defensively: being incredibly solid and incredibly together.”
With the win, BYU now averages 95.5 points per game on 49.1% shooting, with the Cougars hoping to continue their impressive non-conference slate in next week’s Vegas Showdown appearance beginning with Arizona State Thursday evening in Sin City.
“I think it’s important that we come back fresh and come in next week with a clear mind, focusing on Arizona State and being ready to compete,” Robinson said. “It’s going to be a dogfight. We need to make sure we come in next week focused and ready to handle business.”