MORAGA, Calif. – The BYU men’s basketball team suffered an 85-74 loss to Saint Mary’s in the Cougars’ West Coast Conference opener Thursday in McKeon Pavilion.
BYU (9-5, 0-1) made up for a first half field goal percentage of 28.2 percent by making 19 of 33 in the second half for 57.6 percent, but it wasn’t enough against an SMC team that shot 56.4 percent on the night. The Gaels (12-1, 3-0) were the nation’s top shooting team entering the game with a 53.8 percent mark for the season.
Three Cougars scored in double figures led by Chase Fischer’s 21 points. Kyle Davis scored 14 points and Nick Emery added 11. Nate Austin posted season highs with six points and 14 rebounds. Jordan Chatman chipped in eight points and Kyle Collinsworth had eight points, six rebounds, six assists and one block.
"I thought we played hard enough to win tonight," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "We’re just not playing as well as we needed to play. We just got out-executed tonight."
Davis started the game off with a dunk to get BYU on the board and both teams traded scores out of the gate. Nate Austin drained a 15-footer on the baseline to give BYU a 9-8 edge with 14:14 left in the first half. Austin had five rebounds in the first five minutes of action.
Fischer ended a 6-0 run by the Gaels with a layup at the 11:22 mark to cut the SMC lead down to 15-11.
Saint Mary’s got hot again with a trey and a two on its next possession for a 10-point cushion at 29-19 with four minutes to go until halftime.
BYU trailed 36-27 at the half. The Cougars were cold from the field, knocking down just 11 of 39 shots. Austin led BYU in the first half with season highs of six points and nine rebounds.
After halftime, BYU scored the first 10 points including two treys from Emery to go back in front 37-36 after less than three minutes of action.
Saint Mary's answered with a 12-3 run to regain control and took a 48-40 lead with 13:41 to play.
The Cougars trimmed the deficit to three points, but the Gaels pushed ahead again, stretching the lead to double digits again at 70-58 with five minutes to go.
The lead swelled to as many as 15 points and BYU fell by a final of 85-74.
BYU travels to Stockton, Calif., to take on Pacific at 3 p.m. PT on Saturday, Jan. 2. The game will be televised on TWC, ROOT and CSN Bay Area and can be heard on the Cougar IMG Sports Network on KSL 1160 AM and 102.7 FM.
After posting a 9-4 record during the nonconference season, BYU basketball will open West Coast Conference play at Saint Mary's Thursday at 8 p.m. PST in McKeon Pavilion. The game will be televised live on ESPNU and broadcast live on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, KSL NewsRadio 102.7 FM/1160 AM and BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143.
- Chase Fischer had the best two-game stretch of his career at the Diamond Head Classic, scoring a career-best 41 points against New Mexico and following that up with 26 against Northern Iowa. In those two games, Fischer shot 19 of 35 from the field, 13 of 25 from 3 and 16 of 17 from the free throw line.
- Kyle Collinsworth posted his eighth career triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists vs. Central Michigan. He is the NCAA’s career (8) and single-season (6 in 2014-15) triple-double record holder.
- Coach Dave Rose is BYU’s all-time leader in winning percentage at 74.3 percent and second in career wins at 266. He has led the Cougars to 10-straight 20-win seasons and 10-straight postseason appearances, including eight NCAA tournament appearances during that stretch.
BYU Cougars (9-4, 0-0 WCC)
- Head Coach: Dave Rose
- Alma Mater: Houston, 1983
- Division I Career Record: 266-92 (11th)
- Record at BYU: Same
Saint Mary's Gaels (11-1, 2-0 WCC)
- Head Coach: Randy Bennett
- Alma Mater: UC San Diego, 1986
- Division I Career Record: 314-146 (14th)
- Record at Saint Mary's: Same
- TV: ESPNU
- TV Talent: Roxy Bernstein (play-by-play), Corey Williams (analyst)
- Live Video: WatchESPN.com
- Radio: Cougar IMG Sports Network, KSL 102.7 FM / 1160 AM
- Radio Talent: Greg Wrubell (play-by-play), Mark Durrant (analyst)
- Live Stats: BYUcougars.com
- Series Record: BYU leads 11-7
- Last Meeting: BYU won 82-60, 2/12/15
- H/A/N: 8-3/2-4/1-0