The Cougars fell to the Pepperdine Waves 67-61 Thursday despite Tyler Haws leading scorers with 26 points. Haws moved into third on BYU’s all-time scoring list, passing Michael Smith.
Although BYU inched its way to a one-point game after a 12-point deficit, Pepperdine’s defense kept the Cougars away from the foul line and the win.
“It was difficult tonight,” said Coach Dave Rose. “The ball wasn’t going in the basket, and Pepperdine had a great plan.”
Pepperdine guard Jeremy Major scored the first six points of the game with two early three-pointers, and the Waves extended their lead to 39-29 at halftime. Pepperdine held the Cougars to their lowest-scoring first half of the season.
“We can’t start games like this,” said BYU guard Anson Winder. “When we bury ourselves in games like this, we make it way harder than it should be.”
The Cougars did not attempt a free throw in the first half.
BYU started Corbin Kaufusi and Skyler Halford in place of Luke Worthington and a sick Kyle Collinsworth to start the second half.
The Cougars shot 8 percent from beyond the arc in the second half, but a pair of Haws free throws brought the game to 58-57 with three minutes left in the game. However, Pepperdine’s five rebounds helped it secure a 67-61 win.
“We fought, we battled, we got to a point where I thought we could maybe sneak one out in the end,” Rose said. “They just made a couple more plays than we did at the end.”
The Cougars moved to 13-5 on the season and 3-2 in West Coast Conference play and will take on Loyola Marymount Saturday at 7:00 p.m.