LOS ANGELES – Tyler Haws scored 24 points to lead BYU to a 73-70 victory over Loyola Marymount in the regular season finale Saturday night at Gerston Pavilion.
"We had to hit some big free throws tonight to stay ahead," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "We made some mistakes tonight uncharacteristic of ourselves and we'll have to look at those. The most important thing is that we won. This game really shows how good of a coach Max Good is. LMU hasn't won a game in a long time but they could've won tonight. They played us really tough."
With the win, BYU finishes the regular season at 21-10 overall and 10-6 in the West Coast Conference. The Cougars will enter next week's WCC Tournament in Las Vegas at the Orleans Arena as the No. 3 seed. They will play Friday night at 8:30 p.m. PST against the winner of the No. 6 vs. No. 7 game. LMU falls to 8-22 overall and 1-15 in the WCC.
Haws finished the game with 24 points, going 14 of 14 from the free-throw line. His 24 points marked his 20th game this season with 20 points or more and helped him clinch the WCC scoring title this season. Matt Carlino and Brandon Davies finished with 11 points each.
During the first three minutes of play, LMU jumped out to an 11-6 lead due to the strong offensive presence of Ashley Anderson. BYU fought back with a three from Craig Cusick to put his team within one (16-15) with 13:01 left on the clock. Several minutes later, Brock Zylstra tied the game at 21 following a fade away jumper from the left side. Despite their offensive comeback, several Cougars got into foul trouble early, including Davies, Nate Austin and Raul Delgado with two fouls apiece.
With 6:44 left in the half, Matt Carlino hit a three to give the Cougars their first lead, 24-21, since they led 2-0 at the start of the game. LMU came back within one and remained close until Davies converted on multiple trips down the floor putting the Cougars up 32-27. The last five minutes of the half BYU held LMU to only two points and took the 34-28 lead into the locker room.
Going into the second half, both teams opened up with a 3-pointer, one from Tyler Haws and the other from LMU’s Anthony Ireland. After a series of offensive rebounds, Carlino found Josh Sharp underneath for his first bucket of the night putting BYU up 40-32 with 16:15 to go. During an inbounds play with 15:53 left, Carlino fed Austin for an ally-oop dunk to put BYU up by 11.
BYU struggled to connect with the basket midway through the half, taking only five shots in the first several minutes of play and committing three-consecutive turnovers. A 3-pointer from LMU’s Marin Mornar brought LMU within six. The next play down the floor Davies went to the line and hit both free throws to end a four-minute scoring drought for the Cougars. Following Davies’ free throws, Zystra hit a three to extend the Cougar lead back to 11. BYU extended its lead to 15 at 60-45, its largest of the game, following two free throws from Sharp.
With 4:19 on the clock Ireland hit a 3-pointer to bring LMU within 10. In answer to Ireland’s three, Davies scored in the paint after the Cougars broke LMU’s full-court pressure. Davies was fouled on the shot but missed the point after. The Lions responded by outscoring BYU 10-2, but a Haws three ended the run with 2:42 left and pushed the lead back to 10 at 65-55. The Cougars' lead was cut to seven following another LMU 3-pointer.
With 6.4 seconds on the clock Ireland hit his third three of the night to cut BYU’s lead to four. Following the inbounds the Lions fouled Haws who went back to the line to make two more free throws. Ireland hit one more three at the buzzer making the final score 73-70.
BYU will conclude the regular season at Loyola Marymount on Saturday at 8 p.m. PST. With a win the Cougars would clinch the No. 3 seed in next week's West Coast Conference Tournament. The game will be televised on ESPNU and broadcast on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM.
BYU Cougars (20-10, 9-6 WCC)
- Head Coach: Dave Rose
- Alma Mater: Houston, 1983
- Division I Career Record: 205-64 (8th)
- Record at BYU: Same
Loyola Marymount (8-21, 1-14 WCC)
- Head Coach: Max Good
- Alma Mater: Eastern Kentucky, 1969
- Division I Career Record: 303-319 (21st)
- Record at Loyola Marymount: 61-96 (5th)
- TV: ESPNU
- TV Talent: Roxy Bernstein (play-by-play) and Danny Schayes (analyst)
- Live Video: WatchESPN.com
- Radio: KSL 102.7 FM / 1160 AM, BYU Radio - Sirius XM 143
- Radio Talent: Greg Wrubell (play-by-play), Mark Durrant (analyst)
- Live Audio: KSL.com
- Live Stats: BYUcougars.com
- Series Record: BYU leads 3-3
- Last Meeting: BYU won 92-51, 1/3/13
- H/A/N: 2-2/1-1/0-0
|Loyola Marymount (8-21, 1-14 WCC)|
|BYU Cougars (20-10, 9-6 WCC)|
Player and team notes
BYU won its 20th game with a 70-68 victory against Utah State, giving the Cougars eight-straight 20-win seasons, the longest such streak in program history. All eight seasons have come under Dave Rose, a program record for 20-win seasons by one coach. Stan Watts had seven 20-win seasons.
Dave Rose earned his 200th career victory with a 74-57 win over San Diego on Jan. 19, 2013. Stan Watts is the only other coach in BYU history with 200-plus wins. Watts won his 200th game during his 12th season at the helm on Feb. 2, 1961, at New Mexico. It was his 329th career game (Watts’ career record was 371-254 in 23 seasons). Rose is in his eighth season and earned win number 200 in his 259th game.
Tyler Haws reached 1,000 career points when he hit a jumper at the 15:30 mark in the second half at Saint Mary’s. He joins Danny Ainge as the only BYU players to reach 1,000 career points as sophomores and is the 45th Cougar to reach 1,000 points. Haws now has 1,022 points and is 44th all-time in scoring at BYU.
Brandon Davies has stepped up his play of late, averaging 17.7 points, 9.0 boards and 1.3 steals and shooting .523 over the last seven games. He’s had five 20-plus point games and five double-doubles during that time.
BYU has completed four comebacks after trailing at the half this season. The Cougars trailed Utah and San Francisco by nine at the half and won 61-58 and 80-76. BYU trailed Pepperdine by five at the half at home and came back to win 76-51. The Cougars trailed at Pepperdine 31-20 but bounced back in the second half to win 63-61.
BYU has been a better shooting team in league games than nonconference games. The Cougars are shooting better from the field (.472 in WCC play to .445 in nonconference games) and from three (.367 to .306).
The Cougars are on pace to break team records in steals in a season and steals per game for a season. BYU has 262 steals in 29 games, good for 8.7 per game. The current records of 307 steals and 8.5 steals per game were set during the 2009-10 season.
Tyler Haws has shot 100 percent from the line while attempting at least 10 free throws in three games this season, tied with Russell Larson (1993-94) and Ken Roberts (1994-95) for most perfect days from the line (minimum of 10 attempts). Haws has four such games in his career, tied for the most in BYU history with Jimmer Fredette. Danny Ainge, Lee Cummard, Larson and Roberts are tied for second on the career list with three.