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BYU Basketball struggles with foul trouble, outside shooting in loss at San Diego

NCAA Basketball: Utah at Brigham Young Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

14 points from T.J. Haws and Elijah Bryant were not enough as the BYU Cougars (21-8, 10-6 WCC) suffered a 75-62 loss to the San Diego Toreros (17-11, 8-8 WCC) on Saturday afternoon at the Jenny Craig Pavilion in San Diego, CA. Haws, Bryant, and Yoeli Childs were limited to a combined 34 points on 10/31 shooting, 14 below their season average of 47.8 points per game as a trio coming into the game.

Zac Seljaas made big shots towards the end of both halves, finishing with 11 points on 5/6 shooting. BYU uncharacteristically committed only five turnovers to San Diego’s 15, which allowed them to stay in the game despite Childs playing just 22 foul prone minutes. The Cougars went 3 for 22 from beyond the arc, while the Toreros went 9 for 21; that 18-point difference is what ended up making the difference between a win and a loss for BYU.

The Cougars struggled to get going on offense due the stout defense of USD and two early fouls by Yoeli Childs. With San Diego up 29-19 with 5:32 remaining in the half, Juwan Gray of the Toreros was ejected for committing a flagrant-2 foul on Dalton Nixon. This moment appeared to be a brief turning point, as BYU went on a 7-1 run in the minutes following the ejection to cut the lead down to four. However, the Toreros took a 39-28 lead into the locker room on the strength of back-to-back-to-back three pointers.

The Torero lead stayed around 10 points for most of the second half until Elijah Bryant knocked down a three pointer with just over 13 minutes remaining to cut the BYU deficit to seven points. Unfortunately, Yoeli Childs committed his 4th personal foul on the very next possession. The Toreros kept their lead at seven or larger until Zac Seljaas hit a three pointer and TJ Haws made two free throws off a transition steal to cut the lead to five points with just over four minutes remaining. The next possession proved costly as Yoeli Childs bit on a shot fake and committed his 5th personal foul on a three point attempt by USD’s Tyler Williams, who made all three free throws. That proved to be the nail in the coffin for BYU, who never got the deficit closer than eight points, losing 75-62.