BYU falls to Utah Valley, 75-60, on Wednesday night at the Marriott Center
PROVO — The BYU men's basketball team lost to Utah Valley 75-60 at the Marriott Center on Wednesday night.
"We are working really hard to find ourselves right now," said head coach Mark Pope. "There's a lot of things that we are not doing great right now. We know we are not playing very well right now. The guys are super committed to trying to get better and that is our job. So that is what I look forward to doing."
Traore was the leading scorer for the Cougars as the sophomore reached double figures for the sixth time this season with 18. He went 8-of-10 from the field, tying a season-high in made field goals to go along with seven rebounds. Rudi Williams scored 15 points off the bench with Gideon George also reaching doubles with 10 points and eight rebounds.
BYU shot 35.7 percent from the field, 15.4 percent from 3-point range and 69.6 percent from the free throw line. They also forced 17 Wolverine turnovers including nine steals.
Traore became a force in the paint early, scoring the Cougars first eight points going 4-of-4 from the field. UVU and BYU both eclipsed 70 percent shooting at the first timeout break of the half. The Cougars led 11-10.
Rudi Williams lifted BYU early, scoring a quick seven points just eight minutes into the game. Although the Wolverines were outshooting the Cougars 50-45 percent, BYU led 25-20 with just over eight minutes remaining in the half.
UVU eventually tied the game at 30 with a three by Aziz Bandaogo at the top of the key, with just over four minutes remaining in the half.
BYU forced UVU to 12 first-half turnovers as the Cougars ultimately led at the half 38-34.
The Wolverines took the lead early in the second half as they led 41-40 with just over 16 minutes remaining in the game. A Traore jumper at 13:26 give the Cougars back the lead but was abruptly followed by a 11-0 run by UVU to put distance between the two teams.
The Cougars would go on a 4-0 run four minutes late with baskets from George and Traore to cut the deficit to six, 55-49, but that would be the closest BYU would get as the Wolverines continued to punish them from 3-point range.
BYU will be back in action on Saturday, December 10, with a matchup against No. 12 Creighton at the Jack Jones Hoopfest. Tip is scheduled at 7:00 p.m. PST. The game will be broadcast live on FS1 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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