The BYU Cougars led for most of this afternoon’s game in the Linda Vista neighborhood of San Diego, but could not come up with the stops needed to put away the San Diego Toreros.
There were 7 lead changes in the first 14 minutes of play, until the game stabilized with a small Cougar lead that they took into the half. BYU retained control of the game, but sloppy play and a resurgent San Diego offensive effort tied the game up at 61 with 6:13 remaining in the game. This is when USD went on their decisive run to take control of the game and make the score 71-64. To their credit, the Cougars showed their resilience and Tyler Haws made four consecutive free throws to pull within three. The Toreros turned in a free throw clinic, but Kyle Collinsworth aggressively took the ball to the hoop to close the gap to one point again. Thomas Jacobs missed the front end of the double bonus, giving BYU the ball down by two with only 10 seconds remaining. Collinsworth again attacked the rim but missed the potential game tying shot allowing USD to close out the game 77-74.
This game was nothing short of resume destruction for BYU. They were bullied by a bad team down the stretch of a must win game. They have heart and they play unselfishly, but lack consistency. Their lack of production from the front-court reminds me of watching a great quarterback with athletic weapons around him, which are all protected by a high school offensive line. Weapons are great, but lack of any offensive presence down low is starting to catch up to Coach Rose. I doubt BYU fans ever thought they would miss Nate Austin as much as they do now.
To play back into the bubble they probably need to win every regular season game except the Gonzaga game, and then make a serious run at the WCC tournament title. They will start this campaign against San Francisco on January 29th in the Marriott Center.