Well, it wouldn't be a mid-season tournament in Hawaii if BYU didn't lose a heartbreaker as the Harvard Crimson pulled out an 85-82 victory in overtime.
The start of the game was more difficult than a Harvard final exam aAs the Crimson from Cambridge, shot out to a 8-0 lead. The Cougars were able to get on the scoreboard when Nick Emery jumped a passing lane for a steal, zoomed down the floor for a layup. This would be the only fast break points scored by either team.
Harvard on the strength of a hot 7-of-7 shooting extended their lead to 19-3 after Kyle Collinsworth was able to add a free throw for the Y.
The Cougars were finally able to get into a groove offensively with their senior leader Kyle Collinsworth's impressive behind the back move through the lane for a made layup with contact sending him to the line. He would make the free throw. Zac Seljaas hit a 3. Collinsworth made another layup finishing on his preferred left side of the hoop -- a make that would finally put the Cougars past the 10 point threshold. With that it was Harvard lead 22-11 with 9:27 left in the 1st half.
The final 9 minutes of the 1st half went great for the Cougars, Kyle Davis made a bucket at 6:24 -- the first point by the BYU frontline. Davis would keep scoring. The BYU rallied was capped by another Zac Seljaas 3 to give the Y its first lead of the game 29-28 with 36 seconds left. Harvard's Corbin Miller splash one of his 5 3's just before the halftime buzzer. The Crimson led at the half, 31-29.
After trailing by 16 at 19-3, the Cougars outscored Harvard 26-12 in an uneven half for both squads. The 2nd half would be outrageously even.
It was a yo-yo game after halftime. Neither team was able to extend their lead by more than 3 points for the first 15:30 of play, when Harvard's man of steel big man Zena Edosomwan dunked home 2 of his 23 points to give Harvard a 5 point lead, 60-55.
The Cougars responded immediately with a 9-0 run that featured a couple more baskets by Davis and a 3 by Nick Emery. BYU was up 64-60.
The Crimson's late game heroics came from Patrick Steeves. Steeves made two straight layups to tie the game at 64.
The next possession, Chase Fischer was fouled taking a 3-pointer. Fischer would make the first, miss the second, and make the third. BYU was up 66-64.
Since BYU lost the game, one could reasonably predict that it was a rough game offensively for Fischer. Chase shot 0-5 (0-4 from 3) from the field. He even struggled the free throw line going 4-of-7. He finished with 4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists in 30 minutes of play.
Down 2, Harvard once again was saved by Patrick Steeves. Steeves diced through the lane going from the left to right before taking a 10-foot floater that when through the net. Tie game with 12 seconds remaining. Timeout BYU.
The Cougars drew up a play that would free up Fischer for an open three from the top of the arc. Fischer fired at the buzzer. His shot was going to be well short of the basket, but maybe have enough on it to glance the front of the rim. Whether it would have not, we will never know as Harvard's Evan Cummins jumped up and grabbed the ball. BYU players reacted to Cummins "rebound" as it may have technically been an act of goaltending. The referees made the controversial decision to not award goaltending. 66-66. Overtime in Honolulu.
The back and forth play would continue into overtime. The Cougars were able to extend their lead to 4 with 2:30 left leading 75-71. They did so by employing a Hack-A-Zena-Edosomwan. Kyle Davis would foul Edosomwan when he would make his move toward the basket. A wise decision as Edosomwan went 5-12 from the stripe. The Harvard star would finish the game with 23 points and 17 rebounds. Barely out-dueling his BYU counterpart Kyle Davis who finished with 23 points and 16 rebounds.
The Crimson fought back with a couple of 3 pointers to keep pace with the Cougars. It would the turnovers that would be the undoing of BYU in the final minute of overtime. Kyle Collinsworth nursing a 1 point lead gave the ball away with 34 seconds. Harvard's Agunwa Okolie would attack the basket drawing a found from Collinsworth. Okolie would make both free throws to give the Crimson a 1 point lead with 17.8 seconds left in the extra frame.
The Cougars next possession would see another turnover as Nick Emery failed to connect on his pass to an open Kyle Davis under the basket as the ball found its way out of bounds.
BYU would intentionally foul Agunwa Okolie -- who once again made both free throws.
Kyle Collinsworth would find a desperation three, but it rimmed out. Giving the final score in favor of the Ivy League school, 85-82 in closely contested game featuring 11 ties and 13 lead changes.
In defeat the Cougars records is now 7-4, while the Crimson improve to 4-6.
The Cougars will return to the court tomorrow to challenge former Mountain West Conference foe New Mexico in the 2nd round of the Diamond Head Classic. The Lobos were defeated earlier today by the Auburn Tigers, 83-78. The Lobos are led by a couple of coach's sons. As New Mexico's head coach Craig Neal's son, Cullen Neal and former coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers Mike Brown's son, Elijah Brown lead the Lobos on the court. Brown scored 33 points and Neal added 21 points against Auburn in a losing effort. The Lobos are 7-4 on the season.