OGDEN, Utah – The BYU men's basketball team lost 113-103 to in-state foe Weber State at Dee Events Center on Saturday night.
"This was not an offensive issue," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "Defensively we were really exposed and we are really concerned. We gave our guys a lot of confidence coming in here and believed we could do things to expose them and we did. We shot as well as we've shot and we put the ball in great places to score. Defensively we just could not get them stopped."
Yoeli Childs and Jahshire Hardnett combined for 55 points on the night to lead the Cougars (5-4). Childs, who scored a season-best 31 points, grabbed seven boards while tallying three assists and two blocks. Hardnett had a career-high 24 points and also contributed four rebounds.
Yoeli Childs kicked off the scoring with a jumper 18 seconds into the game before it was slowed down with three consecutive possessions where both teams earned attempts from the free throw line that ultimately put BYU on top 3-2 early in the game.
With under 15 minutes to go in the first half and the score at 9-all, the Cougars recorded back-to-back layups by Childs and Dalton Nixon to take a 13-9 advantage.
A trey by the Wildcats (5-2) with 9:53 remaining on the clock gave them a 22-19 lead, but Childs answered with five-straight points and was combined with four points from Hardnett to put BYU on top 28-25.
The Cougars held their largest lead of the half at six points with four minutes on the clock after TJ Haws contributed a pair of buckets from the charity stripe and Childs hit another layup.
Weber State fought back and the two teams exchanged the lead throughout the remaining time in the first half. A last second bucket in the paint gave the Wildcats a 47-46 lead at halftime.
BYU shot 55.9 percent from the field while Weber State recorded 41.7 percent. The difference came in the shooting percentage from beyond the arc as the Wildcats led the way with 37.5 percent for six treys compared to the Cougars’ 16.7 percent. Childs led all scorers with 16 points.
Weber State went on a 4-0 run to start off the second half until Haws set up Zac Seljaas for a 3-pointer to bring BYU within two, 51-49, and 18:22 remaining in the game.
With just under 14 minutes to go, the Wildcats managed to take an 11-point lead and held onto the large lead even after the Cougars would make a basket on their own end of the court.
Despite Weber State keeping a double-digit lead through much of the second half, BYU fought back in the final minutes after Hardnett cut the deficit down to eight with 2:06 remaining.
In the final minute of the game, a bucket by Connor Harding and a 3-pointer by Childs cut the Wildcat lead to six, 103-97. Weber State hit free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.
The Cougars shot 59.4 percent from the field, 35.7 percent from three and 66.7 percent from the charity stripe. The Wildcats recorded 52.9 percent from the field, 44 percent from beyond the arc and 73.7 percent from the line.
The Cougars return to the Marriott Center on Wednesday, Dec. 5, as they host instate foe Utah State at 7 p.m. MST. The game will be televised live on BYUtv and audio broadcasts will be available on BYU Sports Network, BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM) and KSL (1160 AM/102.7 FM).
- Yoeli Childs finished with a season-high 31 points – his second career 30-point game – on 13 of 23 shooting while adding seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks. He has scored in double figures in 15-straight games dating back to last season.
- Jahshire Hardnett scored a season-high 24 points on 11 of 15 shooting. Hardnett has now scored in double figures four times this season and 11 times as a Cougar.
- BYU had a stretch of 11-straight makes from the field in the first half, improving from 6 of 19 shooting to 17 of 30. The Cougars finished with a season-best field goal percentage of 59.4 percent.
BYU forward Luke Worthington
On tonight's game
"This was definitely disappointing to say the least. I think that for various parts of the game we did try to attack and we talked about driving the ball down because it helps to open up your offense. We knew that we could score in transition and knew we could put a lot of points on the board. It was how we came out at various points in the game. It's that tough mindset, especially defensively."
On moving forward
"I think the most important thing right now is accountability as a team. This isn't the first rollercoaster ride we've been on as far as a season goes. We need to understand that their are things that need fixed and things that can be better. We need to get better collectively as a team but everybody has something and that starts at practice. We need to tighten up so we can compete at a higher level."
BYU head coach Dave Rose
On this team's shooting
"You've got to make threes in today's game or else you're just going to get behind. It's just too hard to try to win with two point shots and our percentages are so suspect. 30 is too many but 14 is probably not enough. If you are going to shoot 15 you need to make six or seven. The real challenge here is that we had the long home stand and played teams that we were better than and got wins. But now we have some real issues and have been exposed this week."
On playing Utah State
"They are really playing well. It's a team that really shares the ball well and they beat Saint Mary's as bad as you've seen them get beat. It's going to be a tough challenge for us. We are going to have to be better."