The Pacific Tigers snapped BYU basketball’s 17-game home win streak in a disappointing 77-72 loss Saturday afternoon. The Cougars dropped to 17-8 overall and 8-4 in the West Coast Conference.
“They played well and we didn’t deserve to win tonight,” senior guard Chase Fischer said. “Nothing good was in that game for us, that wasn’t us.”
The Cougars seemed tired and lacked energy after playing their best defensive half of the season in second half in the their 70-59 win over Saint Mary’s two days before.
“It’s a quick turn-around and there’s a lot of emotion after Thursday, but there’s no excuse for that,” Fischer said. “We just didn’t play well, didn’t execute.”
Freshman Jakob Hartsock started his second consecutive game and scored BYU’s first 3-pointer after the Cougars missed three previous 3-point attempts in a physical and highly pressured first half. BYU and Pacific tied at nine apiece before the Cougars went on a 7-0 run to take the lead 16-9 with 15:35 left in the half.
“We got off to a good start and shared the ball well, but defensively, we were just a step slow,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said.
The Tigers fought back to tie it 18-18. Three baskets from beyond the arc by Fischer in the final nine minutes of the half propelled the Cougars to a 34-32 lead going into the break.
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Pacific guarded BYU well, holding the Cougars to just 34 percent shooting from the field. Rose said teams can’t shoot that poorly and win and credited Pacific for its consistency. He said the Tigers have come close to winning so many times and were “bound to hit something.”
Both teams were in double-bonus in the second half and free throws became vital. BYU made only 77 percent of its free throw attempts, including five consecutive misses and a lane violation canceling out a made free throw. Fischer shot an impressive 14-for-14 from the line. Emery was fouled shooting a 3-pointer and hit three consecutive foul shots to tie it 59-59 with 4:33 left in the game.
The free throw battle continued in the final minutes and Pacific’s 86 percent free throw shooting carried it to a 77-72 win.
“Second half, we just had a hard time putting the ball in the basket, really hard time,” Rose said. “If we could have made a handful of baskets there in the second half and changed things that way, it would have really helped us.”
Fischer led the Cougars with 23 points, followed by junior forward Kyle Davis’ 21 points. Emery added 13 points while Pacific held Kyle Collinsworth to just nine points. Hartsock rounded out BYU’s scoring with six points, including two baskets from beyond the arc.
The Cougars begin a two-game road trip next week, beginning with San Francisco Thursday, February 11. Tipoff begins at 8 p.m. (MST).