Riding a scorching second half, Pacific ended any BYU hopes of an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. A lack of defense and missed opportunities pushed the Cougars to a likely NIT invitation. Led by Matt Carlino's 28 and Tyler Haws 20 , the Cougars couldn't put enough pressure, or make enough shots to come out with a win.
Haws and the Cougars started off strong with a 9-0 run only minutes into the game. Haws found himself at the free-throw line shooting three shots only 28 seconds into the game and had five of the nine points. The Cougars offense quickly went cold as the Cougars went over six minutes without a field goal and allowed Pacific to take the lead after a 12-0 run. Haws went 3-8 in the first half with nine points. BYU managed to take the lead back on another 9-0 run that was fueled by Matt Carlino scoring five straight. Carlino ended the half with 14 points on 5-8 shooting, four of the makes were from behind the arc. What looked like a game that would build confidence at the free-throw line turned into a disaster. After starting 8-8, the Cougars then proceeded to go 2-9, leaving points off the board and missing key chances to build another large lead. Kyle Collinsworth continued his struggles at the line as went 2-4 for the half, only making eight of his last twenty. The Cougars faced foul trouble as well with Eric Mika, Nate Austin, and Haws all leaving early with two fouls. The glaring stat was no field goals from the Cougars big men. Even with the struggles the Cougars did manage a 38-35 lead going into the locker room.
The Cougars struggles in the first half carried over to the second half as Pacific started with a 5-0 run to take the lead. The shooting struggles continued for the Cougar as they went into the under 16 minute time out with a one point deficit. After 17-6 run and then an 11-2 run for the Tigers, BYU found themselves down by 13 points and at the edge of disaster. Mika had left the game minutes earlier with his 4th foul, Luke Worthington joined him shortly after and the wheels began to fall off the wagon. Carlino scored his first points of the second half with under seven minutes left in the game. The Cougars couldn't find their defense in the second half and after the Tigers hit their 10th three point shot, they were down by 15. At one point the Tigers were hitting 70% of their second half baskets. Carlino led one last rush to get back in the game as he hit a three, a free throw and then an and-one bucket. A couple of missed shots and bad decision finished off the Cougars as they fell down by 10 and couldn't counter the hot-shooting Tigers. With just under three minutes in the game, Mika hit a jumper that gave the BYU big men their first field goal of the game. The Cougars were able to pull within four but a lack of defense in the paint led to an easy baskets and then desperation fouls.
The Cougars will next visit Saint Mary's on Saturday at 6pm MST on ESPN2.