The BYU Cougars fell 84-74 on the road against the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday.

With the loss, BYU’s record dropped to 7-7 in conference play and 19-8 overall.

Here are three key storylines from Saturday’s game.

Digging a hole

The Wildcats came out clawing to open Saturday’s game.

Mark Pope was forced to use the Cougars’ first timeout at just 3:16 into the game after Kansas State jumped out to an early 12-2 lead. Credit BYU for responding and trimming the deficit to 17-16 about four minutes later. However, they could not fully recover as the Cougars never led and trailed behind for all but 1:26 on Saturday.

Kansas State brought the lead to four points at halftime and regained their 10-point lead 4:50 into the second half. Their largest lead was 67-51 with 8:54 remaining in the game. Much like their game against Oklahoma State University, BYU narrowed the deficit to within 10 points late in the game, but they could not get the stops they needed.

BYU was fighting uphill from start to finish.

Life is tough in the Big 12, especially on the road. Securing wins is never easy, and it becomes even harder when you put yourselves in a hole from the tip-off.

Arthur doing damage

Kansas State’s Arthur Kaluma scored a career-high 28 points on Saturday.

Time and time again, the Wildcats found Kaluma, and he made the Cougars pay. Kaluma logged 39 minutes in the game, shooting 8-for-11, 2-for-3 from three and 10-for-12 from the free-throw line. He also added 10 rebounds and four assists. Whenever they needed a basket, Kaluma was there to provide it.

In Provo on Feb. 10, Kaluma scored 13 points in the final 7:09 to give the Wildcats a chance late in the game. On Saturday, he picked up right where he left off.

Physicality-wise, BYU’s forwards are undersized against the 6-foot-seven, 225-pounds Kaluma, and he took advantage of that.

Well runs dry from three

BYU continues to rank second in NCAA Division I in 3-point attempts per game, averaging 32.5 shots per game from behind the arc. Conversely, BYU is shooting over 35% from behind the arc this season. It’s often said that BYU lives and dies by the three. In their wins, BYU tends to shoot the 3-pointer well. In their losses, BYU tends to shoot the 3-pointer poorly.

Saturday, the Cougars shot poorly from three. As a team they shot 19.4% from behind the arc, going 6-for-31. Jaxson Robinson is shooting 35.4% from deep this season. He was 1-for-9 on Saturday. Dallin Hall is shooting 35.1% from three this season. He shot 0-for-5 on Saturday. Trevin Knell is second on BYU in 3-point attempts this season and is shooting 40.6%. He shot just one 3-pointer on Saturday and missed it.

The Cougars’ win over Baylor University on Tuesday highlighted why BYU could be dangerous in March. They made 14 threes in that game and shot 38.89% from deep. Sharp shooting makes the Cougars explosive on the offensive end. However, Saturday is an example of why BYU could be at risk for an early exit in March. When they run dry from three, BYU is typically in store for an uphill battle.

Looking ahead

Tuesday, the Cougars will play a game that has been circled on the calendars of many BYU fans since their addition to the Big 12 was announced.

BYU will travel to the historic Allen Fieldhouse to take on the No. 8 Kansas University Jayhawks.

The Jayhawks are a college basketball blueblood, holding the record as the winningest program in NCAA history with 2,405 wins. Head coach Bill Self is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Since Self became Kansas’ head coach in 2003, the Jayhawks have won two national championships, eight conference tournament championships and 16 Big 12 regular-season titles, including 13 consecutive titles from 2005-17.

Allen Fieldhouse, nicknamed “the Phog,” opened in 1955 and has become a staple of college basketball. Under Self, the Jayhawks have a record of 299-17 inside Allen Fieldhouse.

The Cougars and Jayhawks will tip off at 6 p.m., and the game will be streamed on ESPN+.