Provo, UT –
It was the Richie Saunders show on Saturday night at Marriott Center as No. 18 BYU took down Georgia State 86-54.
Saunders scored a career-high 20 points while grabbing seven rebounds on 57% shooting from the field.
BYU 34 – GSU 26 | 2:50 1H
Richie leading the Cougs with 12 points, 2-2 3FGs. pic.twitter.com/BQhoTRwQmO
— BYU Men's Basketball (@BYUMBB) December 17, 2023
Jaxson Robinson would limp to the locker room in the first half, and ultimately return to the BYU bench with 6:44 left to play in the first half.
Robinson would eventually be ruled out for the remainder of the game.
There would be no indications or signs of difficulty with the chemistry of the team as BYU’s leading scorer, who comes off the bench, would only play seven minutes. This just goes to show how much depth this team has.
“We are one of two teams in the country with nine players that have career-highs of 20 (points) or more, so think about that in your roster that nine guys have proven they capable of putting two dimes down.”BYU head coach Mark Pope said how the team has performed with guys being out due to injury.
Georgia State was second to only San Diego State, to go into the first half down by ten or less. Dwon Odom would lead the pounce in scoring with 12 points, with eight of those coming from the charity stripe.
However, the Pounce would suffer the same defeat as all other opponents that entered the Marriott Center.
Newcomer Dawson Baker played in his first game as a BYU Cougar. Baker scored six points on 3-of-5-shooting from the field to go along with one rebound and one assist.
“I was proud of Dawson. Major kudos to Dawson, Michael Davie, who’s the best probably at any level in the business, and Rob Ramos because Dawson only was able to be in some live practice for two days. We played him more minutes than we intended and he looked comfortable… he’s going to be exciting.” said Mark Pope on Dawson Baker’s performance.
The transfer from UC Irvine averaged 15.3 points per game on 47% from the field, and 37% from the 3-pointer range a season ago.
BYU is now 10-0 on the season when making ten or more 3-pointers.
Mark Pope’s team continues to shoot at least 30 3-pointers a night. It will be interesting to see how that will go in Big 12 conference play, but as of right now that has been the recipe to success as the team is outsourcing opponents xx.
This is the fastest the team has reached ten wins since 2011-12 when Jimmer Fredette played.
“It’s awesome, it’s exciting, but it’s just one game at a time.” BYU point guard Dallin Hall on the team’s 10-1 start to the season.
“I think the most rewarding part for me is that we continue to believe more and more of who we are trying to be. It’s been a real gift to us that what these guys are trying to do on the court will work for us.” Pope said.
BYU will now take on Bellarmine. The Knights and Cougars are scheduled for tip-off next Friday, December 22nd at the Marriott Center in Provo, UT. The game will be live on ESPN+.
Post Game Sound: