The BYU men’s basketball team fell to the Long Beach State 49ers 66-65 early Tuesday morning as part of ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon.
The Cougars committed 24 turnovers and 25 fouls in the game. They were outscored in points off turnovers 23-5 and hit just eight free throws and went 5-21 from the 3-point line.
The 24 turnovers were the most in a game since the 2007-2008 season.
“The kids fought really hard and battled, but we weren’t very good tonight,” BYU head coach Dave Rose told KSL Radio after the game. “The difference was we turned the ball over 24 times and we missed 13 free throws. In a one-point game, that’s a lot to overcome.”
The Cougars never led after the 13-minute mark of the first half. With five minutes left senior guard Kyle Collinsworth tied the game at 59 on a reverse layup. Collinsworth – who may still be dealing with the lingering effects of knee tendinitis – finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and seven turnovers.
The team trailed by as many as 12 and could dig themselves out of the hole they had created.
Corbin Kaufusi recorded his first career double-double. The sophomore center scored 17 points on 70 percent shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds. He said that the team struggled once they stopped attacking.
“We were attacking them,” Kaufusi said. “But when we let up a little bit they capitalized on that. They pressured us more and we turned the ball over.”
The Cougars had a chance to win the game, but they didn’t even get off a final shot. Long Beach defenders tipped away two inbounds passes in the final four seconds.
Rose chalked it up to poor execution.
“We were not very good at executing offensively down the stretch,” Rose said.
BYU falls to 1-1 with the loss.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Rose said. “We’re a long ways away from being a complete team.”
The Cougars will return to Provo on Friday night to host Adams State. The Grizzlies are 0-2 on the year.