TJ Haws leads BYU to thrilling 81-79 win over Saint Mary's
PROVO, Utah – TJ Haws led the BYU basketball team to a thrilling 81-79 win over Saint Mary’s in front of a packed Marriott Center crowd on Saturday night.
“We’re so happy," BYU head coach Mark Pope said. "TJ Haws is going to have a baby right now. Think about that. I’m so happy for him and for Yoeli Childs. He was able to gut it out and play through it. I’m so happy for Jake Toolson. Miraculously he rolls back out and gave the team a huge lift when he came into the huddle. Connor Harding was such a star. Such an impact tonight, he was for us. Randy is one of the coaches I admire the most with what he gets out of his team. It’s unbelievable what he’s accomplished there. His team plays hard and they’re tough. Malik Fitts, what he did was remarkable. We tried five different things to stop him but we couldn’t.”
With the Gaels ahead by four points, the Cougars made the most of the final minute of the game. Three free-throws from Yoeli Childs and Zac Seljaas brought the game within one-point with 50 seconds left on the clock. Seljaas grabbed a defensive rebound after a missed Gaels bucket putting BYU back on offense before the Cougars called a timeout.
At the 16 second mark and trailing 79-78, BYU put the ball in the hands of TJ Haws who sank a deep 3-pointer from the top of the key to put the Cougars ahead by two with nine seconds left. After a Saint Mary’s timeout, the Gaels drove towards the basket and rebounded after missing a jumper. A Gaels player again attempted to score but Seljaas denied the points blocking the shot and grabbing the ball to run out the clock, giving the Cougars a two-point win over Saint Mary’s, 81-79.
Haws led BYU with 23 points to go with five assists and two rebounds while Seljaas grabbed seven rebounds and added seven points and three assists. Childs posted 19 points with three rebounds and Jake Toolson posted a game-high eight assists.
The Cougars opened up the game with seven unanswered points to go up early 7-0. Saint Mary’s quickly answered going on a 9-0 run itself to take the two-point lead. Childs got the next basket to tie the game at 9-all.
The two teams traded points before a jumper from the Gaels put them up by three points at 24-21. After Jake Toolson was taken off the court with an injury, the Gaels got the ball back and went up by five points at 26-21.
A Childs jumper followed by a trey from Haws tied the score at 26-26. Three free-throws from Saint Mary’s pushed the Gaels to a 29-26 lead. BYU answered with back-to-back 3-pointers from Seljaas and Connor Harding as the Cougars took the lead back at 32-29.
BYU closed the half managing to not give up the lead as the teams traded buckets and the Cougars went into halftime ahead 43-40.
For the first three minutes of the second half, BYU maintained its led. However, the momentum shifted to the Gaels as they put up a 15-4 run quickly getting out in front by six points at 57-51. The Cougars began to chip away at the lead as Toolson blocked a shot giving Childs a fast break to the basket. Haws followed with a jumper to bring the score within two points at 57-55.
Back-to-back treys from the Gaels gave Saint Mary’s its largest lead of the game of eight points, making the score 67-59 with 8:37 left in the game. A 10-2 run from the Cougars including 3-pointers from Toolson and Alex Barcello and two jumpers from Haws made the score 69-69.
With just over four minutes left in the game, Haws was fouled by Saint Mary’s leading scorer Malik Fitts, sending the Gaels player to the bench after tallying five personal fouls. Haws sank both free-throws, the Cougars' first time at the charity line in the game, to give BYU a one-point lead of 71-70.
A Saint Mary’s three-pointer put the Gaels ahead by four points with 1:31 left in the game. Three free-throws and a Haws 3-pointer with nine seconds left on the clock secured the 81-79 win for the Cougar over the Gaels.
BYU continues West Coast Conference play by traveling to Portland for a game at the Chiles Center on Thursday, Feb. 6. The game is slated for 7 p.m. PST with a broadcast on the Stadium Network and a radio coverage on BYU Radio, Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HDS, BYU Sports Network and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
PROVO, Utah – BYU men's basketball with play Saint Mary's for the second time this season when the Cougars host the Gaels on Saturday at 8 p.m. MST in the Marriott Center.
BYU's game against Saint Mary's will be televised live on ESPN2. The radio broadcast will be available live on the BYU Sports Network, on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2 and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
- BYU tied the school single-game record with 17 3-pointers vs. Pepperdine – a total that has been made three other times in team history, including this season against Virginia Tech and the Waves. It marked the 11th game this season with 10-plus 3s. Three teams in program history have made double-digit 3s in more games than the current squad: 2015-16 (13), 2010-11 (12) and 2014-15 (12). The 2007-08 team also had 11 games with double-digit made 3s.
- Senior guard Jake Toolson had a career night shooting the ball against Pepperdine, hitting a personal-best 7 of 10 from 3-point range. He finished the night 9 of 13 from the field for 25 points. He has hit a 3 in 12-straight games.
- Senior forward Yoeli Childs scored 21 points against Pepperdine, his second 20-point game in the last three and his sixth this season. He has shot 50.0 percent or better from the field in his last six games played.
BYU Cougars (16-7, 5-3 WCC)
- Head Coach: Mark Pope
- Alma Mater: Kentucky, 1996
- Division I Career Record: 93-63 (5th)
- Record at BYU: 16-7 (1st)
Saint Mary's Gaels (19-4, 6-2 WCC)
- Head Coach: Randy Bennett
- Alma Mater: UC San Diego, 1986
- Career Record: 433-178 (19th)
- Record at Saint Mary's: Same
- TV: ESPN2
- TV Talent: Dave Flemming (play-by-play), Dan Dickau (analyst)
- Live Video: WatchESPN.com
- Radio: BYU Sports Network, BYU Radio Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2, KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM
- Radio Talent: Greg Wrubell (play-by-play), Mark Durrant (analyst)
- Live Stats: BYUcougars.com
- Series Record: *14/13-15
- Last Meeting: Saint Mary's won 87-84, 1/9/20
- H/A/N: *10/9-5|2-9|2-1
*Wins in 2016 and 2017 vacated by NCAA