Williams’ 21 points paces BYU to 87-61 win over San Francisco on Senior Night
PROVO, Utah — Rudi Williams scored a team-high 21 points with a career-high 15 free-throw makes as he helped BYU cruise past San Francisco in an 87-61 win on senior night at the Marriott Center on Saturday.
“Tonight was a big win, it was good to get out of this little funk we were in," Williams said. "All week we watched film of the last trip when we went up to San Francisco and the thing that we noticed was that they beat us to all the 50-50 balls, they were tougher than us, they dove on the floor and we didn’t. Shoutout to Coach Fennell, it was his scout, he made sure that we made those adjustments to be more physical. We played tough tonight, got more offensive rebounds and we won the fight.”
Williams’ 21 points pulled him over 1,000 for his Division I career. The senior from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada also added seven assists to his scoring output in his BYU home finale.
Fellow senior Gideon George scored 12 points to go along with six rebounds and a block. Fousseyni Traore recorded his eighth double-double of the season and 17th for his career with 17 points and a season-high 14 boards.
Jaxson Robinson gave BYU four double-figure scorers with his 12 points and three steals.
The Cougars dominated San Francisco with a wide disparity in almost every statistical category.
BYU shot 52.0 percent from the field while holding the Dons to 36.0 percent. The Cougars’ 30 field goal makes came through 22 assists. BYU allowed a mere 18 San Francisco field goals on the night, only nine of which were assisted. The Cougars held the upper hand from distance as well, making 45.0 percent of their 3-point attempts with the Dons at just 20.0 percent.
BYU’s paint presence proved suffocating as well. The Cougars grabbed 42 boards to the Dons’ 22, including a 13-6 advantage on the offensive glass.
Both teams traded baskets to begin the game with USF keeping things close on trips to the free throw line. The turning point came with 5:55 to play in the first half as BYU turned a four-point lead into a 13-point edge at the break.
George began the run for the Cougars with a physical score in the paint. Spencer Johnson scored next with a corner jumper off an inbound pass. Another George lay-in moments later gave BYU a 30-22 lead while the Cougar defense had forced the Dons to over three minutes without a field goal. Khalil Shabazz attempted to answer the BYU scoring spurt with a 3-pointer but Robinson fired right back with one of his own to preserve the Cougars’ eight-point edge.
A USF shot clock violation along with free throw makes from Williams and a transition trey from Robinson pushed BYU to a 38-25 lead in the closing moments of the half.
The Cougars headed to the locker room up 40-27 and didn’t let up after the break. Robinson, George and Williams kept the BYU offense firing on all cylinders in a 10-0 run to start the half. USF would twice come within 13 but Williams reliability at the charity stripe and another game-ending 10-0 run delivered BYU the 87-61 win.
With the conclusion of the regular season, BYU now prepares as the fifth seed in the 2023 University Credit Union West Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada March 2-7. The men’s first and second rounds will be played March 2-3 with games both days at 6 and 8:30 p.m. PST on BYUtv. The final three rounds of the tournament begin March 4 with games on ESPN2.
BYU hosts San Francisco on Senior Night
PROVO, Utah – BYU will wrap up the regular season on Saturday evening when the Cougars welcome San Francisco to Provo for a final time as West Coast Conference foes. Seniors Rudi Williams and Gideon George will be honored prior to their final game at the Marriott Center. Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. MST.
Saturday’s contest will be broadcast on ESPNU. 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 (16-14, 6-9 WCC)
- BYU enters its final regular season game as a member of the West Coast Conference at 16-14 overall and 6-9 in league play following a 71-65 setback to No. 17 Saint Mary’s last Saturday in Moraga, Calif.
- Gideon George has appeared in 90 games during his BYU career including 57 starts where he is averaging 8.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. He is shooting 42.3 percent from the field, 32.6 percent from three and 68.4 percent from the free throw during his time in Provo.
- In his lone season at BYU, Rudi Williams has appeared in all 30 games where he ranks second on the team in scoring (12.4/game) and assists (2.7/game).
Head Coach – Mark Pope
- Alma Mater: Kentucky, 1996
- Division I Career Record: 161-96 (8th Season)
- Record at BYU: 84-40 (4th Season)
San Francisco Notes (18-12, 7-8 WCC)
- San Francisco extended its win streak to three games on Thursday evening with a 92-89 victory over Portland at War Memorial at the Sobrato Center.
- Khalil Shabazz paced the Dons in their win over the Pilots scoring 30 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the field on Senior Night. He enters the final game of the regular season leading USF in scoring, rebounds and assists.
- Fellow guard and former Division II All-American, Tyrell Roberts, ranks second on the team in scoring at 16.3 points per contest. He scored a then season-high 30 points against the Cougars in their first matchup back in January.
Head Coach – Chris Gerlufsen
- Alma Mater: Randolph-Macon, 1998
- Division I Career Record: 26-17 (2nd Season)
- Record at USF: 18-12 (1st Season)
- Series Record: BYU leads 23-12
- Last Meeting: San Francisco won, 82-74 (1/21/23)
- H/A/N: 11-3/9-7/3-2
- TV: ESPNU
- TV Talent: Steve Quis, Richie Shueler
- 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