The BYU men’s basketball team dropped its final home game of the season to No. 22 St. Mary’s 70-57 on Saturday night at the Marriott Center.
Eric Mika led BYU with 18 points and five rebounds and Yoeli Childs had 13 points and seven rebounds.
“It’s obviously a very disappointing loss for us,” said BYU head coach Dave Rose. “I think our guys were ready to play. We got to their second and third post guys, and we didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that we had.”
The game featured nine lead changes over the first 6:30 before a 9-3 run put St. Mary’s up by 20-15.
BYU would cut the lead to three with six minutes to play in the half, but the Gaels would outscore the Cougars 9-to-4 to end the half up by 11 points.
A 6-3 BYU run saw the Cougars cut the lead to single digits with 17:17 to play in the second half.
However, St. Mary’s would put the game out of reach with a 16-4 run that spanned over six minutes.
During that run, Childs went down hard with an apparent ankle injury after sinking a 12-foot jump shot. He did return later in the game after being helped to the locker room.
St. Mary’s final field goal of the game came with 7:25 to play. BYU would outscore the Gaels 13-1 over those final minutes, but it was too little too late for the Cougars.
“We need to find a way to have that intensity we had the last two minutes, minute and a half,” said Mika. “Find a way to play aggressive and play tough like we are in instances, but then also play smart and execute. It’s hard finding that line and balancing both.”
Three-point shooting and bench points were two main differences between the teams tonight. BYU made just four 3-pointers on the night compared to St. Mary’s 10. One of the Cougars’ 3-pointers came from Colby Leifson, and those three points were the only points BYU’s bench scored all night.
Combining the last three games, the bench has scored just six points for BYU.
St. Mary’s bench contributed 14 points on the night.
“I feel like we’re better than we showed tonight,” said TJ Haws. “I think this team is going to stick together and I think we still got a shot at this thing.”
The Cougars fall to 19-10, 10-6 on the season with the loss. Up next, BYU heads on the road to take on Portland on Thursday. Tip off is set for 8pm MST.
Earlier on the day, the BYU women’s basketball team lost at St. Mary’s, 64-58.
With just one week to play in the regular season, BYU currently sits in third place in the WCC. Tiebreakers for the WCC tournament seeding are:
- Head-to-head record
- Record versus higher-ranked seed
BYU owns the first tiebreaker with San Francisco having swept the Dons this season and currently leads Santa Clara in RPI, 88 to 131 after splitting the season with the Broncos and both teams going 0-2 against St. Mary’s and Gonzaga in conference play.