No. 17 Saint Mary's holds off BYU in final trip to Moraga

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PROVO — Logan Johnson would not be stopped.

The Saint Mary's senior who averaged 13.3 points per game prior to Saturday poured in 27 points, seven rebounds and two assists and two steals to help the 17th-ranked Gaels pull away for a 71-65 win Saturday night over BYU in the Cougars' final trip to Moraga, California, as members of the West Coast Conference.

Aidan Mahaney added 16 points with three steals for Saint Mary's (24-5, 13-1 WCC), including a step-back dagger with 46 seconds left that helped ice the game and keep sights on a WCC regular-season title.

Fousseyni Traore led BYU (16-14, 6-9 WCC) with 16 points and six rebounds, and Spencer Johnson added 12 points and seven boards — all of his scoring in the first half.

Rudi Williams supplied 12 points, including a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining, and Noah Waterman had 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting for the Cougars.

"I am proud of our guys for competing and winning on the glass tonight," BYU coach Mark Pope said. "I'm super proud of their effort. Sometimes it's head scratching. We can make the right play but we just don't do it consistently enough."

BYU hung around early, trailed by as little as two and as much as 33-27 at halftime. But the Gaels used a 9-2 in less than four minutes and pushed the lead to double digits with back-to-back rim rattlers from Logan Johnson with 9:21 to go.

The Gaels opened the second half, making nine of their first 16 shots from the field, and held BYU to just 6-of-17 that included 1-of-6 from the 3-point line. Richie Saunders caught fire off the bench late, pulling the Cougars as close as 61-55 with just over five minutes to go, and Dallin Hall cut the deficit to 63-60 on a pull-up jumper with 4:03 remaining.

Traore bullied his way down load for a layup that brought BYU all the way back within one. But Johnson immediately answered with a driving layup with 1:35 to go to go back up 65-62, and the Cougars could get no closer.

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