BYU was without starting center Aly Khalifa, but Fousseyni Traore had one of the best games of his career as BYU beat West Virginia 86-73 Saturday evening in Morgantown.
Khalifa didn’t travel with the team as he deals with flu-like symptoms, but Fouss stepped into the starting lineup with a season-high 24 points to go along with 9 rebounds and 2 blocks. Fouss went up against star big man Jesse Edwards and outplayed him for most of the game. Dallin Hall orchestrated the offense with a career-high 12 assists, Richie Saunders scored 17 off the bench, Spencer Johnson chipped in 15, and Jaxson Robinson had 12 points to round out the top scorers.
BYU went into the half up 9 and was up by as many as 17 in the second half before West Virginia cut the lead to 5. BYU responded by making 5 of its last 6 field goals from distance to ice the game. This game will go on the resume as a Quad 3, but it comes versus a WVU team that is finally fully healthy and coming off consecutive home wins versus Texas, Kansas, and Cincinnati.
BYU did a great job balancing Fouss on the low block and finding open shooters on the outside. BYU as a team shot 49% from the field and 13-36 (36%) from three. West Virginia came into the game number one in the Big 12 in free throw rate, but BYU had 14 FT attempts versus just 12 from West Virginia. BYU held WVU to 28% shooting from three.
The win moves BYU to 16-5 on the season and 4-4 in the Big 12. BYU stays on the road for a trip to Norman Tuesday to play Oklahoma. Khalifa could join the team in Norman depending on how he recovers from the flu. Sources tell me he was feeling better Saturday versus prior days.