BYU men’s basketball decimated by St. Mary’s in WCC semifinal matchup

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BYU’s loss to St. Mary’s marks the first time Dave Rose has lost to the same team three times in one season. (Ari Davis)

The BYU men’s basketball team ended the regular season with an 81-50 loss to Saint Mary’s on Tuesday night at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

The 31-point defeat marked the biggest loss of BYU head coach Dave Rose’s tenure.

TJ Haws led BYU with 13 points while Elijah Bryant had 11 points. Eric Mika had 10 points and seven rebounds on the night.

Cold shooting from the field and poor ball movement doomed the Cougars from the start. The first bucket for BYU came with 16:32 to play in the half and the next basket didn’t come for another four minutes.

The Cougars finished the night with five assists while Saint Mary’s finished with 21.

BYU scored just 20 points in the first half, shooting 8-for-32 (25 percent) from the field and 2-for-11 (18 percent) from 3-point range.

By the half, Saint Mary’s had jumped out to a 16-point lead, 36-20.

Shooting woes continued for BYU in the second while the Gaels found their range from downtown. Saint Mary’s opened the half connecting on three 3-pointers as part of a 21-6 run to push the lead to 31 points.

That run transitioned into a streak of 10-straight field goals for the Gaels and a 35-point lead.

BYU would finish the night a lackluster 19-for-60 (32 percent) from the field and 4-for-17 (24 percent) from 3-point range.

The Cougars finish the regular season with a 22-11 record, their 12th-straight season with at least 20 wins.

The loss almost guarantees a third-straight NIT appearance for BYU. The latest NIT bracket projection had BYU as a No. 3 seed, which would mean at least one more home game this season.

The official NIT bracket will be announced on Sunday evening after the NCAA tournament bracket is announced earlier in the day.

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