BYU basketball comes up short against No. 8 Gonzaga, despite Collinsworth’s triple-double

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BYU forward Kyle Collinsworth recorded his second triple-double of the season, putting up 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 87-80 loss to the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Saturday night.

Tyler Haws and Anson Winder each chipped in 17 points, but it wasn’t enough, as the Cougars dropped their first conference game of the season. They also fell to 10-4 on the season, while Gonzaga improved to 12-1.

Despite playing during the Winter break and two days after Christmas, 20,900 fans showed up to see the Cougars play. The fans made their presence known the entire night, too.

“It was the first league game, and I think you could feel it,” BYU head coach Dave Rose┬ásaid. “You could tell that it had some real emotion and urgency and tension to it.”

BYU quickly fell behind at the start of the game, trailing 31-16 midway through the first half. A string of drives and free throws brought the Cougars roaring back into the game and trailed by three with only three seconds left in the first half. Collinsworth took the inbounds pass, drove the length of the floor and sank a running 3-pointer as the time expired to tie the game at 43 at the half.

The Cougars started out hot in the second half, jumping out to a quick 55-49 lead, but Kevin Pangos and Kyle Wiltjer’s sharp-shooting tied the game up at 57. The Cougars would never retake the lead. Wiltjer led the Bulldogs with 24, and Pangos contributed 21 and seven assists.

BYU cut the lead to three at 80-77 with just minutes left, but crucial turnovers and missed shots were too much to overcome. The Cougars fell to 3-8 against the Bulldogs since joining the West Coast Conference.

“It was a hard-fought game,” Rose said. “They were good; their execution was good. They’re a good team.”

BYU has little time to dwell on this defeat, as it hosts the Portland Pilots on Monday, Dec. 29, in the Marriott Center at 7 p.m.

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