PROVO, Utah – BYU men’s basketball fell 77-71 to San Francisco on Thursday in the Marriott Center despite 20-point outings from Yoeli Childs and TJ Haws.
"The outcome of the game was obviously disappointing," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "I thought our guys played hard. I thought for the most part until the last eight minutes that we played pretty smart and that we were dialed in together. But one thing these guys have done is they've been resilient all year and we'll get back in the gym tomorrow and then head up to Spokane and swing away up there against the No. 2 team in the country and see how we do."
Childs had a game-high 28 points and 14 rebounds to go along with Haws’ 25 points on 10 of 11 shooting from the charity stripe to lead the Cougars, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the sharpshooting Dons in the end.
USF (21-6, 9-4 WCC) came back from being down 14 points with eight minutes remaining to defeat the Cougars and sweep the season series against BYU (18-11, 10-4 WCC). The Dons’ starting point guard, Frankie Ferrari, went 5 of 5 from the 3-point line to lead his team with 23 points on the night.
BYU’s defense kept USF in check early, forcing them to go 1 of 10 from the field in the opening minutes. A dunk from Childs gave the Cougars a 4-3 lead four minutes into the first half. He had the Cougars’ first six points before Zac Seljaas hit a three to go up 9-5. The Dons hit a pair of threes soon after to tie the game back up at 13. USF then hit its third consecutive 3-pointer to go up 16-13 with 11:32 left in the first half.
Seljaas hit his second three of the night to reclaim the lead, 20-18, midway through the half. The Dons remained hot from the perimeter, hitting their sixth 3-pointer to tie the game back up at 25 with six minutes left. Gavin Baxter got his third block of the night on one end of the floor and a dunk on the other to retake a 27-25 lead with under five minutes left in the half. Haws hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the Y logo to give him 11 points and extend the BYU lead to 38-34 at halftime. Childs had a game-high 17 points on 7 of 10 shooting to go along with five rebounds in the opening period.
Haws stayed aggressive with five quick points to open the second half, extending the BYU lead to 43-36. Childs got a big putback dunk followed by a pair of free throws to give him 21 points and extend the BYU lead to double digits, 51-40, with 13 minutes remaining. Another dunk from Baxter capped of an 8-0 run by the Cougars to take a commanding 53-40 lead.
Childs hit his first 3-pointer of the night midway through the second half to give him 26 points and grabbed his 10th rebound a few seconds later to get his 16th double-double of the season. Baxter got his fifth block of the night to maintain the Cougars’ double-digit lead and give him a new career high. Haws hit his third 3-pointer to give him 23 points and extended the BYU lead to 63-49 with eight minutes left.
USF’s Frankie Ferrari got his 20th point of the night on a jumper to bring the Dons within six, 63-57, with five minutes remaining. Another USF bucket capped off a 10-0 run by the Dons to bring them within four, 63-59 with 3:36 left in the game. Ferrari hit his fifth 3-pointer without a miss to narrow the lead to just one point, and a pair of free throws from Jordan Ratinho gave the Dons a 66-65 lead with 2:30 to go. Ratinho then hit a 3-pointer to extend the USF lead to 71-68 with under a minute left. The Cougars were forced to foul to extend the clock and the Dons made their free throws to maintain the lead and complete the comeback.
BYU travels to Spokane on Saturday to take on No. 2 Gonzaga at 7 p.m. PST. The game will be televised live on ESPN and live stats can be found on the schedule page. Audio broadcasts can be heard on BYU Sports Network, BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM) and KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM.