When you are a basketball team fighting for your postseason lives, you hope that you can get on a hot streak and ride it to NCAA Tournament glory. Unfortunately for the BYU basketball team, a cold shooting night, combined with some extremely hot shooting from St. Mary’s, kept the Cougars from a rematch with Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference Championship game.
Both teams initially did not shoot the ball well; missing shots that were good shots within the flow of their respective offenses. As BYU continued to miss good shots, St. Mary’s started to make a couple and then the flood gates opened. St. Mary’s utilized a pick and roll action, and BYU was making a concerted effort to try and take away the big men and the Gael guards made them pay. They hit three huge three point baskets to stretch the lead after it looked like BYU might have figured out how to score after T.J. Haws made a three to pull BYU within eight points. Once St. Mary’s got hot, they stayed hot and rolled to an 81-50 win.
BYU really struggled to put the ball in the basket. They only scored twenty points in the first half and almost half of those were scored by Haws. BYU shot 31 percent from the floor and only 4-17 from three point range. That was contrasted by St. Mary’s shooting 56 percent and 13-25 from three. Jock Landale led all scorers with 22 points while Calvin Hermanson had 14, Emmett Naar had 12, and Tanner Krebs had 11. The Cougars were led by Haws with 13, Elijah Bryant had 11, Eric Mika had 10, and Yoeli Childs had 8. Guard Nick Emery was held scoreless on 0-7 shooting.
BYU is now headed to the NIT Tournament, where they have had some recent success getting to New York City, where the final four teams play for the NIT Championship.