BYU Basketball: Cougars fall apart late, have to forget fast ahead of Gonzaga

(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images) /
(Photo by Jonathan Devich/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Devich/Getty Images) /

Holding a 14 point lead midway through the second half, BYU Basketball had a collapse that looked very similar to the BYU vs Utah Football game.

When BYU Football was up 27-7 late in the third quarter against Utah last November, it had one of those “too good to be true” kind of feelings. Here was BYU, on a seven game losing streak against the Utes, leading them in Rice-Eccles Stadium with just over a quarter left in the game.

Then the wheels fell off.

It seemed as if BYU could do nothing right and the Utes could do nothing wrong to finish out the game. The play calling changed, the offensive production stopped and the defense was unable to slow down an offense that had scored zero points in the first 43 minutes of the game.

Thursday night, BYU Basketball followed that pattern nearly exactly against San Fransisco. With 8:14 left in the game the Cougars led 63-49 following a TJ Haws three pointer. Following a TV timeout, things looked eerily similar to last November.

Over the next five minutes, the Cougars missed two front ends of one-and-ones, had five turnovers and zero points. San Fransisco during this same span went on a 10-0 run and pulled within four points with 3:37 left in the game.

Zac Seljaas finally hit some free throws breaking the 4:37 scoreless streak and it appeared that maybe the Cougars were going to dodge the bullet and hold on to the game. But it only took the Dons 1:05 to score their next seven points, all while keeping the Cougars scoreless. This gave San Fransisco their first second half lead with 2:32 left in the game.

The biggest storyline though to finish out the game was the Cougars inability to get the ball in the hoop in the last two minutes of the game. They missed four of their final eight free throw attempts and all five of their final shots including two lay ups and an open three.

Frankie Ferrari led the Dons scoring 23 points on a very efficient 9-12 shooting and 5-5 from deep. He also had seven assists and four steals.

Yoeli Childs led the Cougars with 28 points and 14 rebounds.

The win for the Dons gives them the tie breaker over BYU in the WCC standings if they were to finish with the same record.

BYU Basketball won’t have time to feel bad about the game though as they play de facto No. 1 Gonzaga on Saturday in Spokane.

Game Notes:

  • BYU’s track to the number two seed is now very narrow. The Cougars would have to hope that they go 2-0 at Gonzaga and against San Diego AND that San Fransisco and Saint Mary’s both lose once in their final three games.
  • The loss was the third by BYU at home this season. The other games were against top ten teams Houston and Nevada.
  • Zac Seljaas hit his first two three point attempts of the game giving him a streak of six straight three pointers made, a new career record.
  • San Fransisco’s win at the Marriott Center gave them a Quad 1 win and will likely put them back in the conversation for the NCAA Tournament.