Saint Mary's buries BYU's at-large hopes with 64-57 win

Justin Edmonds

There wasn't enough around Brandon Davies as the Cougars fell on the road.

Despite a strong effort from Brandon Davies, BYU was outscored in the second half for the fifth-straight game and lost 64-57 to the Saint Mary's Gaels in Moraga on Thursday night.

With two minutes left in the game and trailing 59-57, coach Dave Rose called a timeout to discuss BYU's next offensive possession. His goal was clear, even on television: Rose put his hand on Davies' chest and said, "We're going to get Brandon the ball."

Unfortunately, the big man who scored 25 points on 10-16 shooting wouldn't touch the ball for the rest of the game. After receiving the inbound pass, Nate Austin hastily tried to hand the ball to a closely-guarded Matt Carlino, who was eventually fouled and sent to the free throw line in a loose-ball scramble caused by Austin's haste.

Carlino missed both at the line, a place where the Cougars shot only 63% on the night, and the Gaels eventually closed out the game.

Davies also grabbed nine rebounds and dished four assists, but received little help on the glass. The rest of BYU's forwards -- Nate Austin, Bronson Kaufusi, and Josh Sharp -- combined for four rebounds in 36 minutes. This led to 12 offensive rebounds for Saint Mary's, leading to a +9 tally for the Gaels in field goal attempts.

Those additional nine shots, as well as a 6-to-14 turnover advantage, allowed Matthew Dellavedova and Saint Mary's to overcome a 50% FG performance from BYU.

Dellavedova played all 40 minutes, scoring 20 points with four rebounds and four assists. As solid as the Australian was for the Gaels, committing only three turnovers in a full game of point guard duties, Beau Levesque was also a key contributor for Saint Mary's.

Levesque scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench for Randy Bennett, stepping up as Stephen Holt struggled with his shot.

For the big picture, the loss ended any shot, however small the percentage was, of BYU grabbing an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. That path was already bleak but was on life support before this loss. Now it comes down to three games in March in Las Vegas. It's auto-bid or NIT for coach Rose and the Cougars.

A bye to the quarterfinals of the WCC tournament is assured, but BYU must win one of its last two to ensure itself the 3-seed in the WCC tournament, which would mean avoiding Gonzaga for as long as possible -- if it comes down to it.

It was a frustrating game to watch. For as good as Davies looked in the first half -- especially when he started dropping dimes as soon as SMC decided to double-team -- it seems like he should have put up 20 or 25 shots.

Even more frustrating was watching Saint Mary's patiently milk the clock, stringing each possession to the end of its allotted 35 ticks, and still end up with a decent shot or at the foul line.

But it was fun to see Davies on his game. Also fun: Kaufusi biting on a ball fake and destroying Mitchell Young:

D7305f6a6848e2e5c2e91240982784d1_medium

via 5secondsapp.com

Maybe this is for the better, as a fan. Now, with no illusions of an at-large berth, we can focus on the fun of a conference tournament and/or the benefits of the NIT.

It also means the Cougars really have nothing to lose against Gonzaga next week. A loose-but-energetic BYU team could give us a good memory against a top-5 team. It's still every bit of a tall task as it was before tonight's loss, but maybe we can have some fun with it this way.

BYU

STARTERS

MIN

FGM-A

3PM-A

FTM-A

OREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

PTS

Brandon Davies, F

38

10-16

0-1

5-7

2

9

4

1

0

3

4

25

Brock Zylstra, G

25

2-3

1-2

1-2

0

0

1

1

0

0

2

6

Craig Cusick, G

16

1-4

1-2

0-0

0

1

0

0

0

0

5

3

Tyler Haws, G

36

4-10

0-0

4-4

0

6

1

1

0

2

4

12

Matt Carlino, G

35

1-5

0-3

0-2

0

1

2

0

0

5

2

2

BENCH

MIN

FGM-A

3PM-A

FTM-A

OREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

PTS

Josh Sharp, F

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

Anson Winder, G

4

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Nate Austin, F

25

2-2

0-0

2-2

1

2

1

1

1

2

3

6

Bronson Kaufusi, F

10

0-0

0-0

0-2

0

2

0

0

0

0

1

0

Cory Calvert, G

3

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Raul Delgado, G

7

1-1

1-1

0-0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

3

TOTALS

FGM-A

3PM-A

FTM-A

OREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

PTS

21-41

3-9

12-19

3

22

9

4

1

14

23

57

51.2%

33.3%

63.2%

SAINT MARY'S

STARTERS

MIN

FGM-A

3PM-A

FTM-A

OREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

PTS

Brad Waldow, F

25

3-5

0-0

2-4

4

6

1

1

0

0

4

8

Mitchell Young, F

13

1-4

0-0

3-4

1

2

0

0

0

0

1

5

Matthew Dellavedova, G

40

6-14

3-9

5-6

1

4

4

1

0

3

0

20

Jorden Page, G

10

0-2

0-2

0-0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

Stephen Holt, G

38

2-9

0-6

3-3

2

4

2

2

0

1

2

7

BENCH

MIN

FGM-A

3PM-A

FTM-A

OREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

PTS

Kyle Rowley, C

5

0-1

0-0

0-0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Beau Levesque, F

30

4-8

2-3

7-7

1

8

0

1

0

2

4

17

Matt Hodgson, C

7

0-0

0-0

0-0

1

1

0

0

2

0

2

0

Jordan Giusti, G

27

1-4

0-2

2-2

1

3

2

2

0

0

2

4

James Walker III, G

5

1-3

1-2

0-0

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

3

TOTALS

FGM-A

3PM-A

FTM-A

OREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

PTS

18-50

6-24

22-26

12

32

9

8

2

6

15

64

36.0%

25.0%

84.6%

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