BYU holds on to beat UCF at home

Despite UCF's unprecedented comeback effort in the final minute, BYU held on to win on Tuesday.

Trevin Knell denies DeMarr Langford Jr. at the rim
Trevin Knell denies DeMarr Langford Jr. at the rim / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

Ok, can we all let out a collective sigh of relief?

BYU held on to their lead with all they had against UCF on Tuesday when they topped the Knights 90-88. This was one of many examples this season that there is no such thing as an easy win in the Big 12. Game highlights can be viewed here:

Jaxon Robinson scored a team-high 21 points for the Cougars, hitting 12 of 13 free throws and shooting 60% from 3. The team shot 87% from the line, which is a breath of fresh air for those who were unfortunate enough to watch their near-collapse against Kansas State, where 6 missed free throws in a row let the Wildcats cut a double-digit lead down to 2 points. No one said the Big 12 would be comfortable, right?

Have you ever played pickup basketball at your local rec center? You'll often see plenty of players who think they're the reincarnation of Jimmer Fredette chucking up any shot they can as soon as they touch the ball? Brick, brick, brick. These players are no problem as long as they aren't on your team--every time they shoot, it's essentially a turnover. Then, with no warning, they catch fire and hit 5 3-pointers in a row? What happened, right? On Tuesday, UCF was the bricklayer at the rec center who reached enlightenment from 3-point land at the last moment.

In the final 60 seconds of play, UCF reached another plain of existence. They scorched the nets for 15 points in the final moments of the game with an impossible scoring burst. Every shot was finding nothing but net, no matter how out of control the release was. For UCF fans and non-partisan viewers, this was an amazing display of effort and good fortune coming together as one to make for the perfect last-second effort. For BYU fans who have seen a few too many games end after a blown double-digit lead, this was the equivalent of a basketball sleep paralysis nightmare. The demon kept inching closer, and we were powerless to stop it.

After the game, Mark Pope commented on UCF's efforts, and what BYU fans should take away from the final result:

BYU's record in conference play improves to 6-5 with the win, and 18-6 overall. They will face off against the last-place Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater this Saturday and will be favored to win. But if this game has taught us anything, it's that the Big 12 membership guarantees no easy victories.

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