BYU falls short in Waco to drop to 0-2 in Big 12 play

Questionable officiating? Pressured point guards? Mark Pope technical foul? Welcome to the Big 12.

BYU fell to no. 14 Baylor in a well-fought 81-72 battle Tuesday night in Waco. The Cougars dropped their second Big 12 game to move to 0-2 on the season in conference play.

The Cougars trip to Waco started out with some promise. In the Bears brand new stadium, Pope’s squad came out steady in the first half. It was clear the emphasis was to take the ball inside and the Cougars scored over half their points inside the paint in the first 20 minutes.

The Cougars took a six point lead into halftime, thanks to 10 points from Jaxson Robinson and seven from Spencer Johnson. BYU was hanging with a top program in the country in front of their sell-out crowd.

All of that seemed to change at halftime however, as the Cougars started to get clunky on offense, and Baylor started to heat up. Robinson didn’t score the rest of the game, and turnovers began to plague BYU and the Bears capitalized. Baylor scored 18 points off of the Cougars’ 14 turnovers, whereas BYU scored just 4 off the Bears’ giveaways.

If turning the ball over wasn’t bad enough, the Cougars started to rack up fouls left and right. Baylor doubled BYU’s free throw attempts with 28, and notched 21 free points from the charity stripe. By the end of the game, the Cougars had 24 fouls, two technicals, and one player fouled out.

When asked why Baylor had so many free throw attempt Pope said, “I would love to give you the answer I really think, but I won’t.”

With a little over a minute left BYU found themselves down just five. With time dwindling, the Cougars executed a full court press, funneling the ball into a three man trap just past half court. After about four seconds of traveling from Baylor and seemingly jump-balls, the stripes elected to call Dallin Hall’s fifth foul. Pope slammed a water bottle on the scorer’s table in disgust, dowsing Greg Wrubell and Mark Durrant, and was assessed a technical foul effectively ending the game.

Turnovers and fouls were the Cougars downfall tonight, and if you take a look back at the rest of the season there seems to be a pattern. BYU ranks 344th in the country in free throw attempts per game. That’s 344th out of 351 teams.

This game also mark’s the first time BYU has shot better than 30% from three and lost. Typically BYU’s overwhelming three-point barrage has carried them over teams and when it hasn’t been there, neither have the victories. However, guess who leads the country in three-point percentage. Baylor. The Bear’s 43.5% from deep tonight was the best the Cougars have seen all season.

On a positive note, BYU walked into a top program in the country and hung with them for 39 minutes. They proved they can belong in the conference, but at the end of the day they need to win.

Their next chance will come Saturday night in Orlando against UCF. The Cougars will look to win their first ever Big 12 conference game.

Chase is the Sports Editor fro the Daily Universe. Follow him on X: @Chase_rogers0

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Top Sports Stories

Outdoors Unlimited challenges community to hike the height of Mt. Everest

BYU Outdoors Unlimited is currently hosting a challenge to hike as much vertical elevation as Mt. Everest's peak this summer.

BYU basketball lands ESPN 100 four-star recruit Elijah Crawford

BYU basketball lands ESPN 100 four-star recruit Elijah CrawfordAfter the news of Noah Waterman's commitment to Louisville, BYU men's basketball coach Kevin Young had...

Photo Story: Inaugural Big 12 Season for Men’s Hoops

Photo Story: Inaugural Big 12 Season for Men's HoopsFrom 13th in the Big 12 preseason poll, to being ranked as high as No. 12...

From Guangzhou to Provo: BYU Tennis’ Bobo Huang

From Guangzhou to Provo: BYU Tennis' Bobo HuangHow far did you travel when you went to college? Maybe you went across the state, maybe...
- Advertisement -
Print Friendly, PDF & Email