No. 22 BYU bounces past West Virginia 86-73

Kerr Kriisa advances the ball up court against Cincinnati this season.
Kerr Kriisa advances the ball up court against Cincinnati this season. / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages

West Virginia men's basketball fell to No. 22 BYU 86-73 on Saturday night, dropping to 8-14 overall on the season.

The Mountaineers played even with the Cougars in most columns on the stat sheet, but in the end the inside presence of BYU forward Fousseyni Traore was too much for WVU to handle.

Traore led all players with a 24-point performance, and also paced his team on the boards with nine total rebounds. As he watched back his highlights with the ESPN+ crew during a post-game interview, he seemed delighted with his play.

As the footage rolled, Traore quickly let out a celebratory comment while watching himself maneuver past Mountaineer center Jesse Edwards with some deft footwork and an Olajuwon-esque pump fake, drop step combo.

Traore shined as he attempted to compensate for another big man from BYU who was absent tonight in Aly Khalifa, who has started 14 games this season for the Cougars. Traore, starting only his seventh contest, made the impact needed to earn his team the victory.

West Virginia was led by guard Kerr Kriisa's 23-point performance, and the team was aided by fellow guard RaeQuan Battle and Edwards, who each tallied double-digit points on the stat sheet. But despite the three-headed effort by the trio of WVU starters, BYU was able to snag the lead in the first half and maintain it for most of the game. The Cougars held the lead for nearly 30 minutes of play in comparison to the Mountaineers managing to lead for just over seven minutes.