Fight mars end of Arizona State-BYU basketball game in Las Vegas

Nov 24, 2023, 10:00 AM | Updated: 3:12 pm

Arizona State BYU basketball fight...

Arizona State Sun Devils forward Akil Watson #23 squares up to fight Brigham Young University Cougars forward Atiki Ally Atiki #4 during the Vegas Showdown between the Brigham Young University Cougars and the Arizona State Sun Devils on November 23, 2023 at Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Arizona State’s men’s basketball team lost 77-49 to BYU at the Vegas Showdown on Thursday night, but a fight in the final minute of the game marred the outcome.

With 34 seconds left in the contest, BYU’s Atiki Aly Atiki and ASU’s Akil Watson got tangled up under BYU’s basket after Atiki turned the ball over.

Atiki appeared to throw a punch and was ejected by referees. Watson made motions to retailiate but was restrained by BYU coach Mark Pope and was not ejected.

BYU’s Noah Waterman was also ejected for leaving the bench during the scuffle.

Waterman was the prime catalyst for the Cougars in the game. He made six 3-pointers and scored 24 to pace BYU in their victory.

Waterman hit 9 of 14 shots and grabbed seven rebounds for the Cougars (5-0), who advance to play N.C. State in the championship game on Friday night. Trevin Knell and Richie Saunders scored nine apiece. Fousseyni Traore totaled nine rebounds and five assists to go with six points.

Jamiya Neal had 13 points to lead the Sun Devils (2-2), who will square off against Vanderbilt before the title game. Frankie Collins had 11 points and seven rebounds, while Bryant Selebangue scored 10 off the bench.

Waterman hit three 3-pointers in the first half, scoring 13 to lead BYU to a 32-17 lead at halftime. Arizona State shot 30% in the first half, made just 1 of 11 from 3-point range and missed all six of its free throws. BYU shot 35% but hit 6 of 19 from distance and 4 of 5 at the foul line.

A Saunders layup with 3:05 left to play gave BYU its biggest lead of the night at 72-43.

The Cougars shot 51.6% in the second half and finished the game 14 for 33 from beyond the arc (42.4%). The Sun Devils shot 39% in the second half, including 1 of 11 from distance.

BYU leads the all-time series 28-22.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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