The seemingly endless road trip for the Cougars is over.
Turnovers and poor shooting for the Cougars were the story tonight in a hard-fought game that saw 17 ties and 18 lead changes, but ultimately resulted in BYU taking a tough 71-65 road loss to a solid Pepperdine team.
Nick Emery helped spark a 7-0 run at around the four-minute mark of the second half to help BYU fight back from a deficit and take the lead, but the Waves regained control on a wing three pointer by Lamond Murray, Jr. The home team would never trailed again, as the game turned into a free throw shooting clinic in the closing minutes.
The contest was mostly played at Pepperdine’s pace, with fewer possessions for both teams — which is not bad necessarily, unless you manage to shoot 27 percent (6-for-22) on 3-pointers and turn the ball over 11 times, as the Cougars did.
One major bright spot was BYU's defense on all-conference veteran Stacy Davis. The Cougars slowed Davis for most of the game by throwing double teams at him intermittently, holding him to only 10 points. However, the defense was powerless against the Waves' other veteran big man Jett Raines, who managed 18 points with most of them coming from the low block against an overmatched Zac Seljaas.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has the Cougars out of the tournament field currently , which leaves serious work to do on the coming homestand, where Kyle Collinsworth and company welcome LMU, Pepperdine, Saint Mary’s and Pacific to the friendly confines of the Marriott Center.
BYU will not lack for opportunities. They just need to take advantage of them.