BYU gets a win on senior night against Oklahoma State

BYU finished their regular season on Saturday with a win against Oklahoma State.

BYU players celebrate their senior night win over Oklahoma State
BYU players celebrate their senior night win over Oklahoma State / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

BYU's final regular season game put a bow on the year for the Cougars as they head into the conference tournament. The Cougars got the last laugh against Oklahoma State on Saturday as they rectified their previous loss with an 85-71 victory.

This was the Cougars' final game in the Marriott Center this season, where they held an impressive 16-2 record thanks in large part to their impressive home-court advantage. Saturday was no different when they took the lead at the 12-minute mark and never looked back. Senior Spencer Johnson had a great game, scoring 14 points while adding 10 rebounds and 5 assists. His value will be missed after this, his final year. Fousseyni Traore led all BYU scorers with 19 points, and Dallin Hall dished out 6 assists while running the offense.

Oklahoma State's Javon Small had an incredible game, dropping 34 points on 19 shots and single-handedly keeping his team in this game. His efforts fell short this time, but he deserves recognition for his outstanding performance. He didn't get much help from his teammates with no other double-digit scorer emerging from the OK State roster. They hit 6 3-pointers in this game, while BYU knocked down 12, which is playing right into what BYU wants to do on the court. It's always hard to beat this BYU team when they're making shots, and the Cougars shot 38% from deep. Deadly.

Jaxon Robinson, Javon Small
Javon Small loses the ball on a shot attempt. I really like this photo for some reason / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

This was a game of runs and should serve as a final warning for a BYU team who has shown a pattern of letting their opponents get back into the game after holding a big lead. The Cougars had a double digit lead in the first half before turnovers and poor defensive effort allowed the Cowboys to chop the lead down to 3 at the break. BYU responded by opening the second half on a 16-2 run, claiming a 62-37 lead, only to let Oklahoma State respond with a run of their own. Sloppiness and poor decision-making have been issues for BYU when they run out in front early.

If BYU wants to make a run in their conference tournament and the NCAA tournament, they need to tighten the screws on their leads and maintain the mental toughness to play hard until the final buzzer sounds. Cougar fans have witnessed too many big leads disappear in a matter of minutes due to poor shot selection, lazy turnovers, and low-effort defense. Of course, there's no such thing as an easy in the Big 12, but Mark Pope's team will need to make their lives a little easier if they hope to make some noise this month.

Next stop, the Big 12 Tournament!

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