Traore’s 21 points leads BYU to 90-61 win over Lindenwood
PROVO, Utah – Sophomore Fousseyni Troare scored a season-high 21 points as BYU extended its win streak to four games on Thursday evening with a 90-61 victory over Lindenwood at the Marriott Center.
“We’re getting to understand ourselves better,” said head coach Mark Pope. “We’re learning all the lessons we have to learn to react to certain in-game situations and how to come prepared with a winning mentality every single night in order to win. There’s a lot we have to learn because we’re so new, which is really fun.”
Traore was one of give Cougars to score in double figures as they shot a season-high 55.6 percent from the field, including 42.9 percent from three and 80.0 percent from the free throw line. Noah Waterman had 13 points and seven rebounds with Jaxson Robinson finishing with 12 points after making all four attempts from behind the trifecta. Rudi Williams reached double figures with 13 points, marking the fourth time in the past five games he has reached double figures.
As a team, BYU had 24 assists on 35 made baskets and only 15 turnovers. They also outrebounded the Lions 46-25, with 10 of those coming on the offensive glass.
The Cougars fed Traore early and often, with the big man scoring eight of the team’s first 14 points on 4-for-5 shooting. Traore’s production helped offset the team’s 2-of-8 start from beyond the arc. Waterman and Dallin Hall knocked down the two early treys.
A string of 3-pointers by Waterman and Robinson pushed the Cougars ahead 25-19. Reserve guard Richie Saunders would then connect on two of three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt with 9:16 remaining in the half.
Later, Gideon George’s layup off an assist from Saunders ended a three-minute scoring drought by both the Lions and Cougars. Soon after, Robinson’s back-to-back threes punctuated a 20-4 run that put BYU up 39-23.
Both Waterman and Robinson finished the half with three triples apiece as Robinson registered a perfect 3-for-3 mark.
Traore once again led the Cougars at the start of the second half, scoring BYU’s first seven points off three layups and a free throw. Waterman then added a jumper and block that sprung George for a fast break layup on the other end. The opening sequence saw BYU start the half on an 11-3 run and forced a Lindenwood timeout just 2:20 into the half.
Waterman’s defense continued to spark BYU’s offense, with his second block of the half creating a transition three for Robinson. George added a 3-pointer of his own on the next possession, giving the Cougars a 63-37 lead with 14:16 remaining.
BYU continued to lead by a comfortable margin throughout the rest of the second half, extending the gap to as much as 30 at several points. Forward Atiki Ally Atiki’s first points of the night came off a dunk at the 9:59 mark, with another dunk from the sophomore three minutes later off a Williams miss giving the Cougars a 78-51 lead.
Near the end of the game guards Tredyn Christensen and Jared McGregor made their third appearances of the season, while forward Hao Dong made his second. Christensen had his first BYU assist on the final bucket of the game, a layup by Tanner Toolson for the 90-61 final score.
BYU finishes its home stand on Thursday, December 22, when the Cougars host Weber State. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv with radio play-by-play on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143, BYURadio.org/BYURadio app and KSL 102.7FM/1160AM.
BYU men’s basketball head coach Mark Pope announced Friday that Michael Davie has been named the men’s basketball…