BYU COUGARS

Without Childs, BYU’s Gritty Effort Comes Up Short In Overtime At Saint Mary’s

Jan 10, 2020, 12:32 AM | Updated: 12:35 am
Brigham Young Cougars head coach Mark Pope calls out instructions as BYU and Cal State Fullerton pl...
Brigham Young Cougars head coach Mark Pope calls out instructions as BYU and Cal State Fullerton play a college basketball game at the Marriott Center in Provo on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
(Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

MORAGA, Calif. – BYU (12-5, 1-1) suffered their fifth setback of the season in a game that put the Cougars without their star Yoeli Childs. Saint Mary’s (15-3, 2-1) defeated BYU 87-84 in overtime to hand the Cougars their seventh consecutive loss to the Gaels in Moraga. The loss ends BYU’s six-game winning streak and gives them their first loss in WCC play.

Without Childs and the game taking place in one of the toughest WCC environments, BYU easily could have rolled over to Saint Mary’s with only 24 hours to put together a gameplan minus their star, but they didn’t. Down by six with less than one minute in regulation, BYU was able to make a 6-0 run to force overtime.

It was a gritty effort on the defensive end that gave BYU new life and seniors TJ Haws and Jake Toolson making difficult shots. Haws had a slam dunk with seven seconds remaining in regulation to tie it up.

Saint Mary’s still had a chance to win it in regulation but senior forward Dalton Nixon blocked a shot by Jordan Ford, SMC’s Tanner Krebs came up with the loose ball and had a wide-open look at the basket but missed it, sending the game to overtime.

Saint Mary’s made more plays down the stretch in OT

In the overtime period, BYU captured an early lead at 79-77 which their first lead since the first half when they were up 20-19. But that was the last time BYU would have the lead as Saint Mary’s took over from there led by Jordan Ford who led the Gaels with 24 points and forward Malik Fitts who chipped in 17 points.

Haws kept BYU alive knocking down challenging shot after challenging shot to end up with a game-high 29 points. The toughest shot from the senior guard was on the final possession in the corner. With Malik Fitts draped all over him, Haws jacked up a three to tie it and potentially send the game to a second-overtime but it barely missed. Nixon came up with the offensive rebound but there wasn’t enough time to get up a second attempt.

Mark Pope in Postgame: “Our job is to go win games”

“I’m really proud of our guys. They’re fighting and they’re working and they’re getting better and they are trying to digest everything that we’re asking them to do. They came out here and battled courageously and didn’t go away. I just gotta get better. My staffs gotta get better. We shouldn’t lose this game. It’s really disappointing,” said Pope in the postgame on KSL NewsRadio.

“Our job is to go win games. It doesn’t matter who can be on the floor and who can’t. We need to go win games,” Pope said. “I feel bad for our guys, I have to do a better job. We just need to win this game.”

Key Stats of the Night

33%: BYU was 6-18 from three-point range in the overtime loss. In four of BYU’s five losses, the Cougars have shot under 35-percent from three.

100%: Kolby Lee put in another solid performance in replace of the injured Childs. Lee was 100% from the field with a perfect 4-4 for nine points. Lee also pulled down six rebounds in the defeat. Foul trouble limited Lee’s availability for most of the game as he played in only 21 minutes.

-6: Saint Mary’s outrebounded BYU by six, 38-32. Rebounding is never going to be a strength for this BYU team as Mark Pope has mentioned on many occasions. In tough road venues, owning the glass has to happen and it’s even tougher without the top big man down low.

3: Three of BYU’s five losses this season have come in overtime and the other two were against the No. 1 (Kansas) and No. 2 (San Diego State) ranked teams in the current NET rankings.

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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Without Childs, BYU’s Gritty Effort Comes Up Short In Overtime At Saint Mary’s