Cougars come up short against Pepperdine
MALIBU, Calif. — After a back-and-forth battle to begin the game, BYU was unable to overcome a 24-6 Pepperdine run as the Cougars lost to the hot-shooting Waves 92-80 at Firestone Fieldhouse on Thursday night.
Fousseyni Traore finished with a team-high 19 points as the sophomore was 7-of-10 from the field and 5-of-7 from the free throw line while pulling down six rebounds. Gideon George tied a career-high with four offensive rebounds to go along with 13 points and three assists. Dallin Hall and Rudi Williams also reached double figures with 12 and 10 respectively.
BYU set up shop in the paint early as Traore and George exchanged scores in a tightly contested opening 10 minutes that saw four ties and eight lead changes. The Cougars clawed open a game-high 9-point lead at 34-25 following driving lay-ins from Hall and Jaxson Robinson along with a turnaround jumper from George.
The Waves would not go out and responded right away with a 10-0 run to go up 35-34. Robinson and Traore scored in the waning moments of the half to keep the game a 41-40 Pepperdine lead at the break.
Pepperdine returned from the locker room to build on its late first half run. The Waves struck from distance and in the paint for back-to-back 3-point plays to go up 49-40. BYU continued to fight back with George commanding the Cougar offense in the paint and Rudi Williams providing much-needed scores off the bench.
With ten minutes to play, the Cougars were down just a possession after consecutive makes from Williams and Traore. The Waves responded with a 7-2 run to go up 67-60. Traore and Robinson brought BYU back to a 72-71 deficit after Robinson drove and scored off the wing with a resounding one-hand slam dunk.
The Waves had one more response in them and rattled off a game-closing 20-9 run with a flurry of 3-pointers, fast-break lay-ins and timely rebounds.
Pepperdine outrebounded BYU 32-28 while the Cougars held the edge in free-throw shooting (18-of-23) and point in the paint (42-34). The Waves recorded 22 assists on 33 field goals while BYU put up nine assists on 29 field goals. Pepperdine’s Jevon Porter (30 points) and Houston Mallette (22 points) dominated the Waves’ box score.
The Cougars continue their road trip with a visit to No. 16 Gonzaga at the McCarthy Athletic Center on Saturday at 7 p.m. MST. Watch BYU take-on the Zags on ESPN2 or listen live on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143, BYURadio.org/BYU Radio app or KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
BYU hits the road, face Pepperdine on Thursday in Malibu
PROVO, Utah – BYU hits the road for the first time in two weeks when the Cougars travel to Malibu, California on Thursday, February 9, to take on Pepperdine. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Firestone Fieldhouse.
Thursday’s contest will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network. Greg Wrubell and Mark Durrant will also be on the call on the BYU Sports Network on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143 and KSL 102.7/1160 AM.
BYU Notes (16-10, 6-5 WCC)
- BYU finished its three-game home stand on a high note on Saturday evening with a 81-66 victory over Pacific.
- Fousseyni Traore picked up his sixth double-double of the season and 15th of his career against the Tigers, finishing with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
- Gideon George also recorded a double-double as the senior forward had 12 points and a season-high 10 rebounds.
- BYU ranks second in the West Coast Conference and 38th in the nation in bench scoring (25.5/game).
Head Coach – Mark Pope
- Alma Mater: Kentucky, 1996
- Division I Career Record: 161-92 (8th Season)
- Record at BYU: 84-36 (4th Season)
Pepperdine Notes (8-17, 1-10 WCC)
- Pepperdine picked up its first WCC win of the season on Saturday with a dramatic 94-93 double overtime victory over Portland.
- Maxwell Lewis is the leading scorer for the Waves as the sophomore is averaging 18.4 points per game, shooting 48.8 percent from the field, 36.6 percent from three and 84.1 percent from the free throw line.
- Houston Mallette scored a career-high 31 points against the Cougars in Malibu last season. He ranks second on the team in scoring this season with 13.2 points per contest.
Head Coach – Lorenzo Romar
- Alma Mater: Cincinnati, 1992
- Division I Career Record: 453-372 (26th Season)
- Record at Pepperdine: 104-132 (8th Season)
- Series Record: BYU lead 21-10
- Last Meeting: BYU won, 91-81 (1/14/23)
- H/A/N: 13-2/7-7/1-1
- TV: CBS Sports Network
- TV Talent: Rich Waltz, Mike O’Donnell
- Streamed Audio: BYU Radio Sirius XM 143, KSL 102.7/1160 AM, BYURadio.org, BYU Radio app
- Radio Talent: Greg Wrubell, Mark Durrant
- Live stats: BYUCougars.com