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3 keys to No. 20 BYU’s 68-63 Big 12 road loss at No. 6 Iowa State

Iowa State guard Tamin Lipsey (3) pokes the ball away from BYU guard Spencer Johnson (20) during a game Wednesday, March 6, 2024, in Ames, Iowa.

BYU came within a whisker of spoiling Senior Night and an undefeated home season for No. 6 Iowa State, but in the end the Cyclones rallied in the second half to take a 68-63 win at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.

The Cougars led 38-27 at halftime and by as many as 14 points in the second half, but suddenly went cold with their shooting and Iowa State came back.

Richie Saunders led BYU with 20 points as the Cougars fell to 9-8 in Big 12 play, 21-9 overall. Iowa State improved to 13-4 and 24-6.

Here are 3 keys to BYU’s close road loss:

• The Cougars simply went cold in the second half, missing a plethora of wide-open 3-pointers and several shots at the rim. BYU finished 8 of 29 from 3-point range, and was 2 of 15 from deep in the second half.

• BYU had a 63-61 lead with 4:23 remaining when Saunders made two free throws, but the Cougars would not score the rest of the way. BYU’s last four possessions resulted in three turnovers and an airball.

• BYU won the rebounding battle 45-35, but committed 17 turnovers that Iowa State turned into 18 points. In BYU’s 87-72 win in Provo, the Cougars committed just 11 turnovers and were 13 of 35 from 3-point range.

Tamin Lipsey led ISU with 19 points, while Curtis Jones added 18.