Cougars fall to South Dakota 69-68 at Vivint Arena
SALT LAKE — Despite a career night from Dallin Hall and a season-high from Rudi Williams, BYU men's basketball fell to South Dakota 69-68 at Vivint Arena on Saturday night.
"Certainly a disappointing outcome for us, but I’m really proud of our guys for playing hard and competing hard in the second half today," said BYU head coach Mark Pope. "There’s a learning curve for learning how to compete and win, and right now, we’re in the muck of trying to learn those lessons."
The Cougars shot 35.5 percent from the field and 21.2 percent from behind the arc, with all seven made triples coming in the second half. Williams led the Cougars with 20 points on 5-of-13 shooting, going 8-of-8 from the line.
Hall notched career high marks in points and assists in the loss. The true freshman tallied 14 points on 4-of-9 shooting with 6 assists, two rebounds and two steals on the night.
Fousseyni Traore was the third Cougar that finished in double figures as he went 5-of-8 for 12 points, 11 rebounds, an assist and a steal. Traore's 12 points and 11 boards mark his third double double of the season.
South Dakota turned in a 41.7 percent shooting night while going 12-of-23 from three-point range, while going 17-of-24 from the charity stripe. Kruz Perrott-Hunt finished with 26 points, while Paul Bruns scored 15 points to lead USD. The Coyotes scored nine points in the final 10 minutes without a field goal, as all nine points came from the charity stripe.
The Coyotes went on a 15-4 run to open a 27-16 lead with 6:52 to play in the first half before Jaxson Robinson found Gideon George for a layup to end the South Dakota run.
After BYU cut the lead to nine, the Coyotes scored five straight to extend the lead to 14 with 5:27 to go in the half.
With 3:45 left in the period, Hall found Robinson on a fast break in the left corner for the Cougars first made three of the game to trip the lead to 32-21.
Following the BYU three, the Coyotes made their seventh and eighth threes of the afternoon while adding another pull-up jumper to take a 19-point, the largest of the game. In the last two minutes, Traore and Williams scored back-to-back buckets to cut the lead to 15 going into the break.
Williams opened the second half with four-straight points to cut the lead to 11 with 18:49 to play, but a Coyotes three ended the BYU run to go up 14, 43-29.
South Dakota tacked on six more points to take a 20-point lead before Hall and George hit back-to-back threes with 15:00 left.
After the Coyotes stretched the lead to 21 with 10:00 left, Trey Stewart grabbed an offensive board and reset to Williams at the top of the key for three. With 8:49 to go, Hall found Noah Waterman on the right wing for three followed by a Waterman steal which lead to a fast break layup for Hall to cut the deficit to 13.
After an offensive rebound by Hall gave the Cougars a second-chance opportunity, Hall found Waterman again in the right corner for his second three in a row to draw within 10 for the first time since the 6:08 mark of the first half.
Hall notched his sixth assist of the game on a pick-and-roll to Traore to cut the lead to single digits with 6:19 to go, 62-53. At the under-4 media timeout, the Cougars had cut the lead to seven with a Stewart steal and score and two Hall free throws.
After two more free throws from Hall cut it to eight, Traore grabbed BYU’s 10th offensive rebound of the game and kicked to Williams in the corner for three to draw within five with 1:03 left leading to a Cougar timeout.
The BYU defense forced stop and Traore knocked down two free throws to bring it to a one-possession game with 23.1 seconds left.
With seven seconds left, Williams drove the length of the floor, but his shot at the buzzer fell short capping the 69-68 defeat.
BYU will be back in action as the Utah Valley Wolverines visit the Marriott Center on Wednesday, December 7, at 7:00 p.m. MST. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and can be heard live on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143, BYURadio.org/BYU Radio app or KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
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