BYU men’s basketball: USC boogies past BYU 82-76

Early within the second half at Imperial Arena, Jaxson Robinson hit a jumper to raise BYU to a 32-21 lead over USC Wednesday in The Bahamas.

The sport remained shut over the subsequent a number of minutes.

Then the Trojans’ Boogie Ellis bought right into a groove.

USC (4-1) went on a decisive 18-4 run halfway by means of the second half and ended up defeating the Cougars 82-76 in a first-round sport of The Battle 4 Atlantis.

BYU (3-2) trailed by as many as 18 factors within the second half with somewhat greater than 4 minutes remaining. The Cougars rallied, narrowing the deficit to single digits, however the Trojans held on for the victory.

Ellis had his manner with BYU, tying a career-high with 27 factors. He knocked down 7 of 9 photographs from the ground, largely an array of pull-up 2-pointers, and 13 of 17 from the free throw line.

“They’re a great staff. They’re lengthy, they’re expert. I believed Boogie was completely terrific tonight,” mentioned Cougar coach Mark Pope. “We simply could not discover a solution for him. Their size actually bothered us. Their altering protection from man to zone actually bothered us with this younger, new staff.”

Over the ultimate 20 minutes, USC shot 62% in comparison with 40% for BYU.

Robinson, who scored a career-high 14 factors, together with 4 of 8 from 3-point vary, mentioned his staff didn’t have the identical vitality within the second half because it did within the first half.

“We misplaced our defensive depth,” he mentioned. “In the primary half, we did an amazing job of holding these two guys (Ellis and Drew Peterson). In the second half, we got here out and we did not have the depth that we had within the first half and that basically harm us.”

Gideon George famous the Cougars’ turnovers — 17 — and permitting the Trojans to grab 10 offensive boards.

“Rebounding and turnovers actually harm us,” mentioned George, who scored 10 factors and grabbed six rebounds. “We have to repair that as a bunch. We have to play a sport with much less turnovers if we wish to win on a giant stage.”

BYU’s Spencer Johnson additionally recorded a career-high with 18 factors. He was considered one of 5 Cougars to make no less than two 3-pointers. Rudi Williams had 15 factors to associate with 4 rebounds and 6 assists. He was 2 of 5 from 3-point territory.

As a staff, BYU drilled 12 of 32 3-pointers whereas USC made simply 2 of 10.

But from two-point vary, the Trojans had been lethal. USC shot 53% total from the ground for the sport.

The Cougars struggled from the free throw line, making solely 14 of twenty-two. USC shot even worse from the charity stripe, however it outscored BYU from there by going 18 of 30.

Not solely did Ellis shred the Cougars, however Peterson completed with 16 factors, 10 rebounds and 6 assists whereas Reese Dixon-Waters added 13 factors and Joshua Morgan chipped in 11.

USC is among the nation’s tallest groups and its top and size vexed the Cougars at instances. The Trojans outscored BYU within the paint 34-20.

“In the second half, we misplaced our give attention to the glass. I believed we had been actually efficient holding them to 2 offensive rebounds within the first half,” Pope mentioned. “I used to be actually pleased with that. In the second half, we sort of collapsed and gave up eight offensive rebounds. Every time we had been making some progress within the sport, they got here up with a very essential offensive rebound. It simply kills you.”

BYU could not deal with USC’s weapons.

“They’re a sophisticated staff as a result of Drew is such an elite-level playmaker. He’s such an issue,” he mentioned. “There are issues you do not strive defensively since you imagine that he’ll decide you aside. He’s actually good. At the top of the day, Boogie in isolation off ball screens was an issue for us. He fed into precisely what we wish to give away — we wish to give away lengthy, challenged twos. And Boogie’s identical to, ‘Yep, give ’em all to me and I’ll make ’em all.’ He mentioned He shot nearly 80% in that space.”

So far this season, the Cougars have been turnover-prone and that sample continued Wednesday.

“The first half, we actually had a turnover concern,” Pope mentioned. “We had 11 turnovers and so a lot of them are self-inflicted and that is tremendous irritating. It’s simply a part of us making an attempt to determine issues out. We’ll get higher with that.”

Forced into desperation mode late within the sport, the Cougars used a press, which helped them reduce into the deficit and make the sport aggressive.

“My guys, they’ve a ton of combat. They’re actually stunning children,” Pope mentioned. “They’re going to get higher as a result of they wish to get higher so badly. They’ll get extra snug with one another as a result of they’ll mature. We’re taking part in a whole lot of younger guys. They’ve bought a whole lot of combat and a whole lot of strive.”

Pope added that his gamers had been caught up in “considerations and worries and frustrations” in the course of the sport, one thing they should study to beat.

“I’m pleased with our guys’ effort on the finish, making an attempt to hold in there,” Pope mentioned. “We’re all dissatisfied with how we performed tonight. We’ll play higher tomorrow.”

The Cougars face the loser of the sport between No. 22 Tennessee and Butler at 4:30 pm MST on Thanksgiving Day in The Bahamas.

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