Tyler Haws scored a career-high 48 points, shooting 17-34 from the field, including 4-8 from beyond the arc and 10-13 from the free throw line, but his phenomenal effort fell just short as the Cougars fell to Portland, 114-110, Thursday night in Portland, in triple-overtime.
“This one will definitely hurt,” Haws said. “I thought we made the plays and had the effort to win the game, but you gotta give Portland a lot of credit. They made some ridiculously tough shots and kept themselves in the game and found a way to win.”
Threes were flying in Portland, as the Pilots’ guard Bobby Sharp scored a career-high 27 points on 9-14 shooting, blistering the net from beyond the arc, scoring 4 of his 8 made threes between the three overtime periods.
Matt Carlino deflected an inbound pass from the Pilots to Haws underneath the basket for an easy score to tie the game at 80 with 30 seconds to go in regulation. With a chance to win, Kyle Collinsworth snagged a rebound for a fast break but was stripped and never got a shot up for the potential game-winner.
After trading baskets for two overtimes, including big ones from Haws and Portland’s Sharp, the Pilots halted the Cougar offense, holding them to zero points until the 1:31 mark of the third overtime period, when a pair of Collinsworth free throws brought the Cougars within five, 110-105.
Haws caught an inbound pass on the left elbow but was unable to hit possibly his easiest shot of the night, and BYU played the foul game the rest of the way, leading to its 114-110 loss.
Collinsworth struggled early with his shot but managed a double-double, racking up 12 points and 12 rebounds but missing 6-12 from the free throw line. Down 55-45 early in the second half, Collinsworth missed four straight from the line.
Carlino once again proved formidable for the Cougars off the bench, scoring 25 points on 10-23 from the field, including 3-10 from beyond the arc, tallying nine assists and seven steals.
A tough battle in regulation carried to overtime, where Bobby Sharp continued to drain threes like he was in his back yard.
Sharp let threes rain, scoring 26 points, including eight from beyond the arc, none bigger than one hit with 7.7 seconds left in double-overtime, tying it all up at 103, sending the game to a third overtime.
Junior guard Skyler Halford totaled 13 points on 4-10 from the field and two threes, hitting two free throws with 22 seconds left in double-overtime to take the Cougar lead to 103-100. But the magic that was Bobby Sharp nailed a three beyond the right side of the arc to send the game into a triple-overtime.
The Cougars, shooting above 70 percent from the line the last five games, dipped into the high 60’s, missing freebies at crucial moments.
“I don’t know if we played well enough to win,” Rose said. “There’s so many things we didn’t do as well as we needed to do. Rebounding the ball off of missed free throws really hurt us late in both two and three overtimes.”
Rose said the fight from both teams was present, but the Pilots simply made one or two more plays.
“There was a lot of fight in both teams tonight, but it came down to a couple possessions in regulation, first overtime, second overtime,” Rose said. “And we ended up coming out on the short end.”
Junior center Thomas van der Mars also had a career night, scoring 27 points on 9-14 shooting, grabbed 18 rebounds and shot 9-14 from the free throw line. His presence inside was aggressive and consistent, as the Cougar big men couldn’t stop him.
Carlino got hot in the first half, pocketing 13 points, three assists and three steals off the bench, including scoring nine straight in just over a minute, cutting the Pilots’ lead to 31-28, with 6:06 to play in the first half.
Tyler Haws had 16 points in the first half and went on his own scoring run, scoring eight straight with under nine minutes to play in the first, and junior forward Josh Sharp finished off the run with a score to cut the Pilot lead to two.
Haws hit a free throw with 8:48 left in the game to get the Cougars their first lead since 16:33 in the first half, adding to his massive night from all areas of the floor.
An 11-point lead escaped the Pilots as Haws hit a jumper and two consecutive threes to cut the Pilot lead to single digits once again, 56-53, with under 15 minutes to play in the second half.
Adding to his night, Haws and Halford finished off the second half combining for eight points, including two threes, after being down seven with just more than three minutes to play.
“We felt like we came back from the dead a few times,” Haws said. “But our guys just kept fighting and everyone on our sideline believed. I thought we had it.”
Haws and Carlino had excellent nights for the Cougars, scoring a combined 73 points and seven three-pointers to keep the Cougars within pace of the high-powered Portland offense.
With each run from the Cougars, the Pilots made one of their own, stretching the lead back to seven off a dunk from Thomas van der Mars with 12:12 to go in the second half.
Portland’s freshman guard Alec Wintering scored a team-high nine points for the Pilots in the first half, including five of the last seven Pilot points to carry a five-point lead into halftime, 45-40.
The Cougars cut the Pilot lead to as little as two points several times in the first half, but the hot shooting from Haws and Carlino wasn’t enough to take a permanent lead during regulation.
“It just stinks,” Haws said. “It doesn’t matter how many points you score. It doesn’t matter.”
BYU (13-8, 5-3) will attempt to rebound from the heartbreaker as it finishes its road trip on Jan. 25 at Gonzaga (17-3, 7-1), who won the same night against San Diego.