BYU secures biggest win of season, takes down No. 11 Baylor

The BYU Cougars secured their biggest win of the Big 12 season thus far, defeating the No. 11 Baylor Bears 77-74 on Tuesday night.

In a back-and-forth battle, Baylor jumped out to an early 11-3 lead, but BYU fought back to tie the game within six minutes. The Cougars then carried a slim 42-37 advantage into halftime after Yves Missi’s buzzer-beating dunk for the Bears.

Baylor came out strong again in the second half, but BYU weathered the storm and maintained a two-possession lead for the final 9:13. The Cougars sealed the win with clutch free throws, securing their 19th victory of the season.

Jaxson Robinson, despite an inefficient shooting night (3 of 12 from the floor), delivered when it mattered most. He connected on three key 3-pointers and sank crucial free throws down the stretch to stifle Baylor’s attempted comeback.

“He’s taken a massive jump,” said BYU head coach Mark Pope of Robinson’s performance.

However, Aly Khalifa was the real MVP, who finished with a well-rounded stat line of 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. He kept the Baylor defense guessing and drained four crucial 3-pointers. Khalifa even earned recognition from ESPN’s Stanford Steve during Scott Van Pelt’s SportsCenter.

Other Cougars stepped up in massive ways tonight as well, whether it was Dallin Hall’s control of the offense or Spencer Johnson’s putting on his best Dennis Rodman impression on the glass, or Noah Waterman’s backdoor cuts. Their unselfish play epitomizes the strength of this BYU team.

Regardless of the outcome in the remaining games, Pope and his staff deserve significant credit for the team’s success. Projected to finish 13th in the Big 12 preseason poll, BYU now sits comfortably in the No. 5-6 seed range for March Madness.

The Cougars look to extend their winning streak, earn their 20th overall victory, and improve their conference record to 8-6 when they travel to the metropolis of Manhattan (Kansas) for a rematch against Jerome Tang’s Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday.

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