The chanting seemed relentless as the words “You’re not Jimmer” rose to an alarming decibel inside “the Kennel,” otherwise known as the McCarthey Athletic Center at Gonzaga University.
The Cougars fell to the Bulldogs, 74-63 in the final road game of the season. Despite the fact that both Brandon Davies and Charles Abouo achieved double doubles, the Cougars were unable to get the win.
“We fought hard despite our shooting percentage,” Davies said. ” We have to give credit to Gonzaga defensively, they played hard and definitely came to play.”
Davies kept the team motivated by attacking the boards and driving to the hoop. He finished the game with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Abouo scored 10 points with 10 rebounds, and Matt Carlino added 18 points and three assists, accounting for 51 of the team’s 63 points.
Neither team shot well in the first half. The Cougars shot 11-for-44 from the field while the Bulldogs shot 10-for-28. The Bulldogs took 16 fewer shots than the Cougars in the first half, in large part because of the team’s 15 offensive rebounds in the first half.
Gonzaga dominated the majority of the first half taking an early 11-5 lead. The Bulldogs had an 8-0 run early in the first half, forcing BYU to take a timeout.
“Gonzaga has a tendency to hurry you up,” BYU coach Dave Rose said. “I felt that we really had guys who stepped it up despite what the numbers said.”
With Noah Hartsock nursing injuries from the team’s game against Santa Clara, the Cougars definitely seemed a bit off.
“With Noah’s absence we definitely had to step it up,” Davies said. ” The freshmen that stepped in definitely don’t play as freshmen. They work hard and want to prove themselves.”
The Bulldogs went on an early 7-2 run at the start of the second half increasing Gonzaga’s lead to 44-29. It was freshman Nate Austin who finally became the fourth scorer for the Cougars to break up the Bulldogs run.
“I think that the team really found themselves tonight,” Rose said. “It is a tough thing to find in a really big game like this, but it forces us to find the open guy.”
With the loss on the road, the Cougars will be the third seed going into the the West Coast Conference tournament if the Cougars can defeat Portland on Saturday. This will be the final regular season game for the Cougars and it begins at 4 p.m. in the Marriott Center.