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Too hot to handle: Last-place Oklahoma State beats No. 19 BYU men’s hoops

By BYU sports information - | Feb 18, 2024

Mitch Alcala. AP Photo

BYU guard Trevin Knell (21) passes the ball around Oklahoma State guard Jamyron Keller (14) in the second half of the NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, in Stillwater, Okla.

No. 19 BYU fought back from a halftime deficit but was unable to close the gap on a hot-shooting Oklahoma State squad in a 93-83 defeat on Saturday afternoon at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

The Cougars fell behind big early, allowing 60% shooting to the Cowboys and trailing 49-34 at halftime. BYU got the deficit under double-digits a couple of times in the second half but could get no closer.

Freshman Jamyron Keller, who came into the game with a 5-point average, scored a career-high 22 for Oklahoma State and was as perfect 8 of 8 from the field, including 4 of 4 from the 3-point line. Another freshman, 6-foot-11 Brandon Garrison, was averaging 7.1 points per game but scored a career high as well with 21 points on 7 of 8 shooting from the field.

“Huge kudos to Oklahoma State,” Cougar coach Mark Pope said. “I thought they played great. We really didn’t have answers. They were terrific sharing the ball. They were terrific shooting the ball. Jamyron Keller stepped in the starting lineup and took incredible advantage of that opportunity. Ton of credit to them. Proud of guys, we had fight but didn’t have answers for this team tonight.”

Fousseyni Traore was one of four BYU players to score in double figures as the junior finished with a team-high 17 points, going 7-of-10 from the floor. Trevin Knell led all Cougar starters with 16 while Jaxson Robinson and Dallin Hall finished with 14 and 12, respectively.

The Cowboys were blistering from beyond the arc with 11 3-pointers on 22 attempts to the Cougars’ 8-of-35. Oklahoma State finished the day shooting 60 percent from the field to BYU’s 44 percent. Despite allowing no points on just two second-half turnovers, the Cougars gave up 11 points on six giveaways in the first half.

BYU outrebounded the Cowboys 36-30 including 18-6 on the offensive glass and scored 21 second-chance points to the host’s five. The Cougars also controlled points in the paint (38-36), fastbreak (20-12) and off the bench (39-8). Robinson buried five-consecutive free throws in the half’s waning moments but an 8-0 OSU run sent BYU to the locker room down 49-34.

The Cougars’ halftime deficit was their largest of the season and resulted from eight Cowboy 3-pointers to just 2-of-16 shooting from beyond the arc for BYU. Three-pointers from Hall and Robinson along with three more Traore buckets kept the Cougars within 11 down the stretch but OSU answered each BYU run with scores of its own. With two minutes remaining, the Cougars had come within nine after lay-ins from Knell and Saunders as well as a trap, steal and score from Robinson.

BYU was unable to come closer as OSU maintained its lead and the win with free throws and trap-breaking transition scores in the game’s final moments.

“We were right there,” Knell said. “We were knocking on the door on their 10-point lead that they had for most of the game. They made really, really good shots. That’s something we are going to hone in on going into next week is that we just need to guard our yard and guard without fouling. There were a couple of times they got to the rim and finished on an and-1. If we could have limited those, we would have been right there.”

BYU returns home for a matchup with No. 12 Baylor on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Watch the Cougars and Bears face-off from the Marriott Center on ESPN or listen to live play-by-play on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143, BYURadio.org/BYURadio app or KSL 102.7FM/1160 AM.

Courtesy BYU Photo

BYU forward Fousseni Traore goes up for a layup during the Big 12 game at Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024.


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