It has been relatively easy for the BYU Cougars in the 2023-24 men’s basketball season to date, but that most likely changes next week when Mark Pope’s club travels to Las Vegas for a matchup with the Pac-12’s Arizona State in the Vegas Classic at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
On Saturday, Jaxson Robinson scored a game-high 18 points, Fousseyni Traore added 17 and Noah Waterman chipped in 15 as BYU buried visiting Morgan State of Baltimore 93-50 in front of 13,736 fans at the Marriott Center.
Here are 3 keys to BYU’s fourth win:
• The Cougars finished their four-game homestand with a 4-0 record with a big second half to roll past the visiting Bears, who could never find their shooting touch.
BYU led by just 13 at halftime, but opened the second half on an 11-0 run and was never really threatened.
The Cougars got 44 points from their bench, which has proven to be a strength in the early going.
• Morgan State led the nation in forcing turnovers last year, and it showed as the Cougars had nine alone in the first half. That was after BYU turned it over just five times in Wednesday’s 105-48 win over Southeastern Louisiana. BYU took care of the ball much better in the second half, and finished with just 11 turnovers.
• BYU shot the ball well in the first half — making 17 of 28 field goal attempts — but led just 42-29 at the break. The Cougars were 4 of 12 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes and finished 10 of 29 from beyond the arc for the game.
BYU assisted on 13 of 17 field goals in the first half, 24 of 33 in the game.
The Bears kept it fairly close in the first half by turning nine offensive rebounds into seven second-chance points.