BYU Cougars down and out after first round of NCAA Tournament

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. — The Cougars’ appearance in the NCAA Tournament was short lived.

Tyler Haws shoots over San Diego's Johnny Dee. (AP Photo)
Tyler Haws shoots over San Diego’s Johnny Dee. (AP Photo)

No. 10 seed BYU was eliminated after losing to No. 7 Oregon in the NCAA Tournament. Oregon took control of the pace of the game early on, eventually getting away from BYU’s defense to take the win 87-68 and move on to the second round.

The top performer of the day was Oregon’s Elgin Cook, a Milwaukee native who scored a career-high 23 points against the Cougars. The loss was disappointing for BYU, who was hoping to get a comeback win after barely losing to Oregon in overtime back in December. To the Cougars’ surprise, Oregon came more prepared than ever, knowing just what it had to do to derail BYU.

“I think we just got a little lackadaisical, myself included,” said junior guard Anson Winder. “I think sometimes in the course of a game you kind of expect things to happen and you don’t go out and make them happen yourself, and I take responsibility for that and our team. I give credit to Oregon because they played a really good game and executed their offense well.”

Even after getting shut down by the Ducks, the day wasn’t all bad for the Cougars.

Tyler Haws stepped up in a game without injured guard Kyle Collinsworth, scoring 19 points, while Matt Carlino and Eric Mika scored 15 points each. Mika made a name for himself in Cougar history after setting the new record for offensive rebounds in a season with 92.

But even after BYU rallied together it was not enough, as Oregon whizzed past the team in the second half, gaining an offensive momentum that BYU could not get control of.

“Everybody got a touch; everybody got involved,” said Oregon’s Jason Calliste. “Nobody was standing and watching. We’re pretty hard to guard when we move the ball.”

The Oregon Ducks go on to the second round to take on Wisconsin, who cruised past American U 75-35 in the earlier game.

As for the Cougars, they head home with another season in the books. With no seniors on the team, many of the starters this season will be back next year, including Collinsworth, who is currently recovering from an ACL tear but will be back next season.

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