PROVO, Utah – BYU men’s basketball lost 93-63 to No. 4 Gonzaga at the Marriott Center on Thursday.
“Gonzaga played really aggressive and they executed well,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “We had a hard time on both sides of the ball. We started off with a nice steal and a couple pretty good defensive stops in the first minute or two, but we just had a hard time trying to convert. I think that hurt our confidence, but the guys hung in there pretty good and battled back.”
TJ Haws scored a team-high 16 points for the Cougars making seven of 14 shots from the field. Zac Seljaas contributed 13 points off the bench, including three second-half 3-pointers, and Yoeli Childs added 12 points while also grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out a team-high three assists.
McKay Cannon and Haws both recorded steals for BYU (13-10, WCC 5-3) on the first two defensive possessions of the game giving the Cougars a quick 3-0 lead over Gonzaga (20-2, WCC 7-0).
TJ Haws ended a seven-point run from the Bulldogs with his second basket of the game to bring the score to 7-5. The Bulldogs continued on their hot shooting scoring the next 10 points to take a 17-5 lead over the Cougars five minutes into the first period.
Childs scored eight-straight points for the Cougars to cut the deficit to single digits, 21-13. Seljaas scored a floater and Jahshire Hardnett added a 3-pointer to bring BYU within five points, 23-18 midway through the half.
The Bulldogs went on another 10-0 run to take a 33-18 lead with just under five minutes left in the half. Hardnett scored a driving layup to stop the Gonzaga run temporarily before the Bulldogs added another six-consecutive points to push their lead to 41-20. Connor Harding drove the baseline for a dunk and Gavin Baxter made his first basket of the game to bring the score to 41-24 at the half.
The Cougars opened the half with a jumper from Childs and a pair of baskets from Haws chipping the Bulldog’s lead to 43-30. Gonzaga put a stop to the run outscoring the Cougars 10-4 and extending the lead to 53-34.
Nick Emery scored a 3-point shot from behind the arc and Seljaas scored a fast-break layup making the score 54-40. The Bulldogs pulled away from the Cougars again with an 8-2 run claiming a 20-point lead 62-42 midway through the second half.
Seljaas scored a 3-point jumper and Haws scored a layup as both teams traded baskets before Gonzaga went on a nine-point run to lead the game 77-49 with a little over five minutes remaining.
Seljaas made two more 3-point shots and Haws added four more points down the stretch for the Cougars. However, the Bulldogs continued to match each basket halting any attempt of a comeback outscoring BYU 16-14 to close the period and winning the game 93-63.
The Cougars remain at home to host Loyola Marymount at the Marriott Center on Saturday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. MST. The game will be televised live on BYUtv and audio broadcasts can be heard on BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2), BYU Sports Network and KSL (1160 AM/102.7 FM).