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Cold shooting dooms BYU Basketball at Gonzaga

NCAA Basketball: Brigham Young at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Cold three point shooting haunted the BYU Basketball team for the second game in a row, leading to a loss to Gonzaga, 68-60. The Cougars followed up an awful shooting game at LMU Thursday by only shooting 3-20 from the three point line Saturday. The only player to make a three point attempt was TJ Haws, who was 3-7 on his way to 22 points.

Early on, Luke Worthington (16 points) and Yoeli Childs (14 points, 11 rebounds) carried the BYU offense by finding good looks around the basket. The Cougar guards benefited from the points in the paint by getting good looks from the outside, but could not convert. BYU played fairly good defense by only allowing 68 points and holding Gonzaga to 43.5 percent shooting from the field and 27 percent from beyond the arc, but gave up some timely offensive rebounds (11 total) that led to points.

The story of this game, ultimately, was the lack of scoring from anyone from the outside besides Haws. He was fantastic down the stretch hitting two big three pointers and using the hard closeouts to get into the lane to score and create looks for his teammates. This was off-set by an unusually passive performance by Elijah Bryant who scored 4 points on 1-11 shooting and 0-8 from downtown. There was a scary moment on a charge call where Elijah went down and grabbed his right knee, but got up after a minute and kept playing. Hopefully, it was pain from the contact of the play and not something that lingers for him.

Gonzaga was lead by Rui Hachimura, who had 15 points. Johnathan Williams added 14 while Josh Perkins also had 14, including a huge three pointer down the stretch. Gonzaga did not shoot well over all but hit some big shots late when BYU was struggling to find offense.

This is a tough loss due to the fact that BYU really needed to win this game to even begin to get back into the NCAA tournament bubble. If BYU can find a way to hit some open jump shots, they should be able to get hot towards the stretch run and make some noise in the WCC Tournament, enough to get back into the tournament.