Hall's career-high not enough in setback to No. 22 Saint Mary's
PROVO, Utah — Despite Dallin Hall's career-high 23 points, BYU fell to No. 22 Saint Mary's 57-56 at the Marriott Center on Saturday night.
"Obviously this was a very tough, disappointing end to a terrific game against a great team," said head coach Mark Pope. "I thought our guys competed in every way and made big plays down the stretch. I'm really proud of our guys and congratulations to St. Mary's."
Hall eclipsed 20 points for the first time in his young career as the freshman finished went 9-of-14 from the field, 2-of-5 from 3-point range and 3-of-6 from the free throw line en route to 23 points. The Plain City native also had four assists, a steal and block.
Fousseyni Traore also finished in double figures as the sophomore had 11 points and eight rebounds, three of those coming on the offensive glass against one of the top defensive rebounding teams in the nation.
The Cougars shot 42.3 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three and 60.0 percent from three. They out rebounded the Gaels, 33-25, with 12 of those coming on the offensive glass.
After the early Alex Ducas three from the Gaels, BYU went on a 7-0 run behind Traore's pair of layups and Spencer Johnson's three to take the 7-3 lead. Saint Mary's responded with a 7-0 run of their own as they held the Cougars to just 3-of-10 from the field in the first 5 minutes of the half to take the 10-7 advantage.
The Gaels continued to pressure the Cougars defensively, holding BYU to a stretch of 0-of-7 from the field. SMC quickly turned their 7-0 run into a 12-0 run following Logan Johnson's three and Mitchell Saxen's left jump-hook to take a 15-7 lead with under 12 minutes left in the half.
The Cougars began to pick up the defensive intensity, as the lead remained 15-7 for nearly 4 minutes prior to Augustas Marciulionis's runner in the lane for the Gaels. After a nearly 8 minute scoring drought, Dallin Hall finally got the lid off the basket with a layup for the Cougars.
With 6:31 to play in the half, Traore's layup brought the lead to 7 for the Gaels despite the slow offensive start to the game. Hall came on strong towards the end of the half, going on a 7-0 run of his own with back-to-back layups and a top of the key three to bring him to a team high 11 points. The quick 11-0 run ended for the Cougars after the Marciulionis three giving the Gaels the 22-19 lead.
As the first half came to a close, the BYU defense was able to hold SMC to a 1-of-7 shooting stretch from the field. Trey Stewart provided a spark off the bench, scoring a right handed jump hook to cut the lead to just one for the Gaels. Gideon George's layup gave the Cougars their first lead since the early 7-3 advantage. After a big Traore block on the defensive end, Hall's transition reverse layup gave the Cougars a late 3-point lead. St. Mary's and BYU would enter the half tied 25-25.
Coming out of the break, the Cougars and Gaels traded buckets as Aidan Mahaney finally got on the board for SMC with a three, followed by a Traore layup off the Hall assist. Hall continued his stellar offensive performance in the game, hitting the fadeaway jumper to keep the Gael lead to three, 32-29.
Following a pair of layups by SMC, Tredyn Christensen's first field goal as a Cougar helped stop a three minute scoring drought to cut the lead to 37-31 for SMC. Following another Hall layup, Saxen's bucket kept the Gaels lead at 6 with just under 12 minutes left in the game.
Hall's second three of the game out of the timeout cut the lead to 39-36 before Ducas's layup for the Gaels. Rudi Williams also got in on the action in the second half, nailing the fadeaway jumper to cut into the lead. Gideon George's first points of the half were timely as his three cut the Gael lead to just two, 43-41.
The Gaels quickly responded with a 6-0 run to extend their lead to 51-43. Hall continued to apply pressure offensively, scoring another right hand layup to bring his game-high total to 22 on the night.
Down the stretch, the Cougars gave the Gaels all they could handle. Following a pair of George free throws, Traore's rejection on the defensive end led to a big Johnson three to give BYU the late 52-51 lead. After a Johnson bucket helped regain the lead for the Gaels, Johnson's second three in as many possessions propelled the Cougars to a 55-53 lead with just under 2 minutes to play.
As the time ticked down, Dallin Hall's drive to the rim resulted in an opportunity at the free throw line to give the Cougars the lead with 10 seconds remaining. After splitting the free-throws, Mahaney's turnaround 16-foot jumper gave the Gaels the lead with just 0.4 seconds, resulting in a final score of 57-56 for St. Mary's
BYU will be back in action Thursday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. MST as they get set to host Loyola Marymount. Watch the Cougars face the Lions on CBS Sports Network or listen live on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143, BYURadio.org/BYU Radio App or KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM
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