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3 keys to BYU’s 74-65 win over No. 17 San Diego State

Brigham Young Cougars guard Spencer Johnson (20) holds up three fingers after scoring in the game against San Diego State at BYU’s Marriott Center in Provo on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023.

BYU picked up a huge non-conference win for the Big 12 on Friday night at the Marriott Center, knocking off No. 17 San Diego State 74-65 to improve to 2-0 on the season.

BYU took a 33-28 halftime lead, lost the advantage briefly in the second half, then got some late heroics from sophomore guard Dallin Hall to win going away.

Here are 3 keys to BYU’s second win of the season.

• Hall made a huge step-back 3-pointer with 2:34 left and scored a team-high 18 points for BYU, while Fouss Traore, Richie Saunders and Jaxson Robinson added 12 apiece, although Robinson didn’t score in the second half.

The Cougars went 10 of 27 from 3-point range and held SDSU to 5 of 17 from beyond the arc.

• The Cougars led by as many as nine points in the first half, but the turnover bug bit late in the half, allowing the Aztecs to close the gap to five at halftime. BYU’s turnover problems continued in the second half, along with at least a half-dozen missed shots at the rim, but the Cougars made all the big plays in the final five minutes to avenge a loss last year at Viejas Arena in San Diego.

BYU finished with 14 turnovers, while SDSU had 13 in the physical matchup.

• BYU went with the starting lineup of Trey Stewart, Traore, Noah Waterman, Trevin Knell and Spencer Johnson for the second straight game, with Hall, Aly Khalifa and Robinson the first three off the bench. UC Irvine transfer Dawson Baker remains out after having offseason surgery.