Game-winning shot ends BYU’s winning streak

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On Wednesday night the Cougars fell victim to a buzzer-beating 3-pointer and were dealt their first conference loss of the season against the St. Mary’s Gaels.

BYU had the last possession with 32 seconds left, and Tyler Haws’ fall-away jumper gave BYU a 69-67 lead with 2.5 seconds left, but it wasn’t enough. SMU’s senior guard Matthew Dellavedova quickly called for the ball, stepped just inside half-court and hit a double-clutch three that hit nothing but net, handing BYU a 69-70 loss.

St. Mary’s celebrates after Matthew Dellavedova’s buzzer-beating three pointer on Wednesday night.

“I’m at a loss for words,” Haws said. “I thought we had the game won, and Dellavedova hit a big shot and we got to give him credit, but this one hurt.”

Dellavedova was held to two points, 1-5 from the field, in the first half, but scored 16 in the second half and none more important than his game-winner.

Haws scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Matt Carlino, despite having back spasms, added 16 points and five assists. Brock Zylstra’s two field goals came in the second half, both big threes that gave the Cougars a 54-53 lead with 6:29 left and another that gave them a 63-62 lead with 3:41 left in the game. Brandon Davies scored 12 points but struggled to stay on the court due to foul trouble and eventually fouled out with 1:48 left in the game.

“It was tough,” Haws said. “(Davies) is a big presence inside on defense and offense. When he’s out of the game, it definitely affects us.”

Although BYU was up 20-4 for the first nine minutes, the team knew it wasn’t going to last very long. After SMU tied the game at 38 with 15:38 left in the second half, there was a total of seven ties and 11 lead changes.

“We knew coming in it was going to be a boxing match,” Haws said. “We wanted to come with a good start. (Carlino) was a big part of that big start at the beginning of the game and came out hitting shots and was aggressive. We knew they were going to make a run, but we just kept battling.”

BYU head coach Dave Rose accepted the loss and gave the Gaels credit as both teams made big plays down the stretch.

“It came down to (Dellavedova) making a really tough play late in the game,” Rose said. “Congratulate St. Mary’s because they played well and got a big win.”

Head coach Dave Rose leaves the court after Wednesday night’s loss against St. Mary’s.

Rose said he was proud of his team for battling back from a six-point deficit halfway through the second half, and he hopes to bounce back.

“Our guys showed a lot of character,” Rose said. “We got behind and were able to come back and take the lead and make a big shot late. Hopefully our guys respond and come back and get ready for Saturday.”

Following Wedesday night’s loss, BYU holds a 14-5 overall record and a 4-1 record in the WCC. The Cougars’ six-game winning streak was snapped, resulting in the first home game loss this season.

BYU will host University of San Diego at the Marriott Center on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. MST.

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