Postgame Notes: Saint Mary's 57, BYU 56
The following notes and quotes are from BYU’s 57-56 loss to Saint Mary’s on Saturday evening at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah.
Series Results: The series between BYU and Saint Mary's is knotted at 18 games apiece. The Cougars lead the series in the Marriott Center, 13-5.
Points in the Paint
The Cougars scored 18 of their 25 first-half points in the painted area while the Gaels only scored eight points down low. After a Saint Mary’s score, Traore found Johnson for a second-straight triple to go up three with 2:21 to go.
BYU finished with 30 or more points in the paint for the fourth-straight game.
Despite the Gaels coming in as the sixth-best team in the country in rebounding margin, BYU outrebounded Saint Mary's by eight. The Cougars grabbed 33 rebounds to the Gaels' 25, including a 12-5 advantage on the offensive glass.
Taking the lid off the bucket
Between the 16:40 and 8:16 mark of the first half, Saint Mary’s held the Cougars without a field goal. During the BYU drought, the Cougars went 1-11 from the field.
After trailing 19-8 with 8:16 left in the first, Dallin Hall and Fousseyni Traore combined for eleven-straight points to knot the game at 19 with 4:16 left.
BYU finished the first half on a 17-6 run over the last 8:16 to go into the break tied at 25.
The Cougars forced six Saint Mary’s turnovers in the opening half with two blocks and a steal. The Gaels average 10.9 turnovers per game. BYU forced another six turnovers in the second half, 12 total for the game and scored 10 points off the Gaels' turnovers.
The true freshman scored a career-high 23 points on 9-for-14 shooting. The Freemont high product also grabbed four rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal.
Hall set career-high marks in points, field goals made and field goal attempts.
The sophomore forward finished in double-figures for the 15th time this season. Traore went 5-for-13 for 11 points, eight rebounds, two assists and a block, despite the Gaels holding him under 50 percent shooting for only the third time this season,
- Points: Dallin Hall (23), Tredyn Christensen (2)
- Field Goals: Dallin Hall (9)
- Field Goals Attempted: Dallin Hall (14)
Coach Mark Pope opening statement
“Obviously this was a very tough, disappointing ending to a terrific game against a great team. This Saint Mary’s team is dominating our league and they’re playing at an elite level. I thought our guys competed in every way, made big plays down the stretch, a couple of really nice comeback runs and they answered the bell in every way except getting a stop in the last ten seconds. I’m really proud of our guys and congratulations to Saint Mary’s.
On Trey Stewart’s contribution and energy
“Trey has some really special skills that he is cultivating this year. He is a young player that was spectacular tonight. We’ve been talking to him so much about making plays off two feet, rather than jumping off two feet. He had an unbelievable possession where he drove baseline hard, came to two feet, turned and calmly knocked down a shot. He was really live defensively, he wasn’t perfect, but he gives us energy and an ability to cover the floor that is really special. He’s young and he’s learning the rest of the game, growing, I’m super grateful for his efforts and he was really important and made a huge contribution to us tonight.”
On Dallin Hall’s performance
“Dallin didn’t have a great week this week last week. It was a really hard week for him, but he has championship insides, pedigree and the way he came back to Provo with a fire in his eyes.
He came in on Monday and had a fire in his eyes and a determination to refuse to let that week define him. That manifested itself in many positive ways tonight. His resolve, commitment and his obsession with getting better were really spectacular. He’s carrying a lot on his shoulders and he certainly was great tonight.
In terms of execution, I thought the guys did an unbelievable job. Saint Mary’s is No. 2 in the country in not allowing assisted field goals, so when you get into a downhill drive, or ball screen offense they’re going to fly to shooter because they don’t allow shots. Dallin took what they give and he probably did it better than any guard that I’ve had in the four years that I’ve been the coach here. He took advantage of how they force you to play.”
On the Physicality of the Saint Mary’s team
“I don’t think we managed it early in the game very well, but I felt we adjusted to it much better as the game went on. This Saint Mary’s team was great, they are undefeated in our conference, No. 6 defensively in the country and they are good at what they do. Our guys were really good tonight, just one possession not quite good enough yet. The karma of the game will catch up though. If we keep pounding on this wall, we are going to break through it, especially with this young group.”
On the team's focus in the last four minutes of play
“I felt like our guys were fully engaged tonight. Against Gonzaga, we were not even present in the last few minutes, but tonight we were. Saint Mary’s executed one shot better than us in the last four minutes tonight.”
On the focus moving forward, hosting LMU next Thursday
“It doesn’t get any easier, so we just need to get better. We don’t have the luxury of feeling sorry for ourselves. We are in a little bit of a hole right now, but we are optimistic that we can keep getting better. There is a lot of season left, with everything on the table, so we just need to get better.”
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