MORAGA, Calif. — The BYU men's basketball team fell 75-62 at No. 16 Saint Mary's Thursday night in McKeon Pavilion.
"I thought it was a competitive game," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "Both teams had a good game plan and made a lot of adjustments. Saint Mary's is really good at what they do and they just stayed with it. It's discouraging, we executed the game plan in a lot of ways, but just didn't come up with a win."
TJ Haws led the offense with 15 points and four assists and on the defensive end he grabbed four rebounds and three steals. Yoeli Childs recorded 14 points, four blocks and three assists while Elijah Bryant contributed 13 points, nine rebounds and three assists.
Saint Mary's got on the board first before buckets by Zac Seljaas and Childs gave the Cougars an early 4-2 advantage. After another Gaels' bucket, back-to-back treys by Bryant and Jahshire Hardnett extended BYU's lead to 10-6 three minutes into the game.
At the first media timeout, the Cougars clung to a one-point lead, 13-12. Over the next couple of minutes, the two teams took turns exchanging the lead. A jumper by Bryant kept BYU on top before Saint Mary's answered with a 5-0 run, taking a 23-19 lead with 8:45 left in the first half.
McKay Cannon temporarily stopped the run, but the Gaels scored eight more points to take a 10-point lead, 31-21 with 5:30 remaining.
The BYU defense stepped up in the final minutes of the first half, forcing five turnovers while Dastrup drew an offensive foul. On the other end of the court, Haws hit a 3-pointer and Bryant scored a layup for the final basket of the first half. At halftime, Saint Mary's went into the locker room with a 33-30 lead.
After one half, the Cougars shot 40.0 percent from the field while the Gaels shot 51.9 percent.
BYU started the second half with a basket by Bryant and a steal by Haws converted into a layup to help the Cougars take back the lead, 34-33.
With the game tied at 37-all and 17 minutes remaining, Childs finished at the rim before the Gaels went on an 8-0 run to take a 45-39 advantage.
Free throws by Dalton Nixon put the Cougars within three, 52-49 with 8:52 to go. Another run by Saint Mary's extended its lead to 59-51. Cannon hit a trey with 5:37 left in the game to keep BYU within reach, 61-56.
With 4:19 left, another trey gave the Gaels took a double-digit lead, 66-56 and they stayed on top through the next three minutes. A steal by Bryant set Haws up for a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 69-59 with 1:30 remaining. Saint Mary's stayed in control, taking a 75-62 win.
On the game, the Gaels shot 53.7 percent while the Cougars shot 42.6 percent.
The Cougars return home to the Marriott Center on Saturday, Jan. 27, as they host Pacific in West Coast Conference action. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST.
TJ Haws scored a team-high 15 points, giving him double figures for the fifth-straight games and the 15th time this season. Haws also hit three 3-point field goals, his sixth game this season with three-plus 3s.
Elijah Bryant hit his first two free throws of the night before missing his third. The two makes extended his streak of consecutive made free throws to 29, the seventh-longest streak in BYU history. Bryant also hit one 3-pointer, extending his streak to 22-straight games with a 3-pointer, tied with Jonathan Tavenari (2008-09) for the fourth-longest streak in BYU history for consecutive games with a 3. Bryant finished the night with 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists and one steal.
Yoeli Childs scored 14 points, his 20th-consecutive game scoring in double figures. He added four blocks, his seventh game this season with three-plus blocks. Childs has 13 blocks in the last four games.
Jahshire Hardnett hit a 3-pointer early in the game. He has connected from downtown in six-straight games.
BYU forward Dalton Nixon
On returning from an injury
"It feels good. The foot is feeling a lot better and it just feels good to be back out there on the court with the guys. Tough loss tonight, but personally it feels good getting up and down and getting my wind back."
On tonight's game and Landale
"Saint Mary's is really good at feeding the ball to the post and split screens, so the game plan was to try and front [Landale] and put on a little more pressure to take them out of what they are comfortable doing."
"He's a great player and Saint Mary's is really good and they play through him, but we hope to be able to make some adjustments and see them in the conference tournament."
On the rest of the season
"It's tough with this loss, but we are just focused on Pacific on Saturday as we take it one game at a time. We have a real opportunity to get better as we go into the conference tournament where it matters."
BYU head coach Dave Rose
On Jock Landale
"I wish that we would make him make shots from 10-12 feet instead of three or four feet. It seems like you are playing by the rules and then he just buries you and next thing you know he's right at the front of the rim."
On moving forward
"We spend so much time on Saint Mary's so now it's time to put them aside. We've played them twice in the first half of the league. Now we will attack the second half of this league. We've got to play Gonzaga twice in the second half and that will be a challenge for us. It was a real physical battle at Pacific and we didn't respond the way I thought we could. Hopefully we will do a better job on Saturday."