Looking to win 20 games for the 10th straight season, the BYU Cougars took on the Pacific Tigers in the Marriott Center. The Tigers came into Provo on a six game losing streak that was extended to seven thanks to a strong second half run by the Cougars. With the 84-59 win the Cougars are now two full games ahead of Pepperdine for 3rd place in the West Coast Conference.
The Cougars won the jump but immediately turned the ball over and gave the Tigers their first lead at 2-0. Chase Fischer immediately remedied that with a three pointer to give the Cougars their first lead at 3-2. The teams traded baskets and neither team could get a big lead early as there were a number of lead changes both early and late in the first half. The Cougars did manager a 7-0 run that gave them a first half high lead of five but the Tigers came right back and went on their own 6-0 run to take the lead back. BYU missed some good opportunities late as they tried to increase their lead but the slow pace of the game favored the Tigers and BYU went into the locker room only up three, 33-30.
The Cougars came out flat in the second half and after only three defensive possessions Coach Rose called a time-out and let his team know that the three straight scoring possessions was unacceptable. The Cougars once again built up their lead to five as Tyler Haws scored in double digits for the 115th time in his career, only two games behind BYU leader Danny Ainge. Pacific would come back yet again and take a lead at 50-49 before BYU went on a 14-0 run that included defensive blocks, offensive rebounds, and a Pacific technical foul for a weak bump on Haws. With a 63-50 lead the Cougars managed another game where they held a double-digit lead. The Tigers pulled it back within eight but consecutive baskets by Corbin Kaufusi built the lead back up to double digits at 70-57. At this point the air seemed to come out of the Tigers as a team and the Cougars continued to attack and built up their lead to 22 before finishing the game with the 84-59 win.
Josh Sharp hit a three point shot in the final seconds for his only three points of the game but was the talk of the game as he pulled down seven rebounds, three of them offensive, and had two key blocks in the midst of the Cougar runs. Tyler Haws once again led all scorers with 20 points while Skyler Halford added 18 and Fischer added 16. Once again the triple-double watch was on the fans minds as Collinsworth ended with 12 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists. Kaufusi scored for the first time in two games as he put up six for the big men.
BYU will stay home for their senior night, and final regular season home game, on Thursday against San Diego at 8pm MST on ESPNU.