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Poor Shooting Dooms BYU In Road Loss At Boise State

Brigham Young Cougars head coach Mark Pope blows out a breath as BYU and Cal State Fullerton play a college basketball game at the Marriott Center in Provo on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. BYU won 76-58. (Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – On the heels of a signature win on the road last Friday at Houston, the BYU basketball team entered Wednesday night’s game against regional rival Boise State with a lot of confidence.

The confidence turned into frustration against the Broncos as BYU struggled to knock down shots.

BYU’s poor shooting doomed the Cougars against Boise and resulted in a 72-68 loss in overtime.

Through the first half, BYU had only scored 20 points and was down by seven points. The Cougars shot 25-percent from the field and 20-percent behind the three-point line from the ExtraMile Arena.

Boise State in their own right was shooting an ice-cold 11-percent from behind the three-point line. But the Broncos had the lead. BYU’s blueprint for the upset win over Houston was to be in the lead throughout the entire game. The Cougars squandered opportunities to take control in the first half.

In the second half, BYU’s shooting started to find its way led by senior Jake Toolson who scored 12 of his team-high 19 points in the second 20 minutes.

With the game tied at 58, BYU’s defense forced a Boise State miss setting up a chance for the Cougars to have their second game-winning buzzer-beater in as many games.

Mark Pope’s team had two timeouts remaining but opted to not stop the clock giving Toolson the opportunity to win it for the Cougars. Toolson forced a tough shot that missed sending the game into overtime.

OVERTIME

BYU jumped out to a 64-62 lead with 2:51 remaining in overtime before Boise’s Justinian Jessup knocked down his first three of the night to put the Broncos back on top.

On the other end, Zac Seljaas missed a corner three that led to Boise State getting out in transition and scoring another bucket to put them up 67-64 with 90 seconds left.

BYU called a timeout. Mark Pope drew up a play that was executed masterfully as BYU passed the ball around to find a wide-open TJ Haws attempt a three to tie it and the senior couldn’t knock it down. Haws ended the night 0-for-8 from the three-point line.

On BYU’s next possession – still down three – Toolson was driving near the foul line before deciding to make a behind-the-back pass attempt to Dalton Nixon who was hovering around the three-point line. Boise State picked the ball off leading to a Jessup layup and a Broncos victory over BYU.

Foul Shot Disparity

In BYU’s loss on Wednesday, Boise State shot 27 free throw attempts to BYU’s 7. Boise State forward DJ Williams and guard Derrick Alston alone combined for 21 free throw attempts.

NEXT UP

With the loss, BYU drops to 3-2 on the year and Boise State improves to 2-2. Next up for the Cougars is a Thanksgiving trip to Hawaii in the Maui Invitational. BYU will take on UCLA next Monday on ESPN2.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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