No. 25 BYU tops 11th-ranked Baylor 78-71 behind strong game from Khalifa

PROVO, Utah (AP) — Aly Khalifa had 14 points, seven assists and seven rebounds to lead No. 25 BYU to a 78-71 victory over No. 11 Baylor on Tuesday night.

Jaxson Robinson scored 16 points and Trevin Knell added 13 for the Cougars (19-7, 7-6 Big 12), who earned their third home victory over a Top 25 opponent this season.

Khalifa had a big hand in orchestrating the win in his first fully healthy game since battling a flu bug earlier in the month. He scored or assisted on 12 of BYU’s 29 baskets and had no turnovers.

“I was just being more aggressive,” Khalifa said. “I feel like teams have been pressuring me a lot. I’m just trying to figure out how to be effective on offense still when they’re pressuring me.”

Jalen Bridges finished with 15 points and eight rebounds to lead the Bears. Ja’Kobe Walter and Yves Missi tallied 13 points apiece for Baylor (19-7, 8-5), which lost for just the second time in seven games.

BYU outscored Baylor 20-4 in second chance points after grabbing16 offensive rebounds.

“We’re a tougher team than we showed tonight,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “We’re all disappointed by that.”

Robinson knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to break a 54-54 tie and fuel a 14-6 run. Fousseyni Traore and Noah Waterman made back-to-back dunks to cap the run and put BYU up 68-60 with 5:43 left.

Baylor never drew closer than four points the rest of the way. Robinson sealed the win with a 3-pointer and four free throws in the final two minutes.

“We knew it was unacceptable the way we had shown up on the defensive end the last two games, so we made (it) a big emphasis,” Robinson said.

Baylor started 9-of-11 from the field and built a 22-13 lead midway through the first half following back-to-back baskets from Miro Little and Walter.

The Bears unraveled on offense after going cold on the perimeter.

“I think we took great shots early. We didn’t take as good of shots later,” Drew said. “Credit their defense for forcing that.”

BYU went on an 8-0 run to get back into the game and trimmed the deficit to one a 3-pointer from Spencer Johnson. Bridges banked in a 3-pointer to quell the run. Baylor couldn’t keep the Cougars from eventually erasing the deficit.

Dallin Hall knocked down a go-ahead transition 3-pointer off a steal to punctuate a second 8-0 run that put BYU up 29-27. Khalifa hit a pair of 3-pointers late in the half to extend the Cougars’ lead to 40-33.

“Our guys started saying, ‘We’re going to trust the way we do this. We’re going to trust that we can actually do what we do,’” BYU coach Mark Pope said. “For 35 minutes, they were really really good, man.”


Baylor’s inability to score from the perimeter put the Bears in a tough spot. After starting 3-of-3 from 3-point range through the first six minutes, they made just two more 3-pointers over the remaining 34 minutes.

BYU aggressively crashed the offensive glass and it helped the Cougars overcome a slow start on offense. The Cougars outscored Baylor 13-0 in second chance points before halftime while collecting nine offensive rebounds.


Baylor hosts Houston on Saturday.

BYU visits Kansas State on Saturday.


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