BOISE, Idaho – The BYU men’s basketball team fell 72-68 to Boise State in overtime on Wednesday night at ExtraMile Arena.
Jake Toolson led the team with 19 points while grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists. TJ Haws and Connor Harding followed with 10 points and four rebounds apiece.
Toolson buried a trey to give the Cougars (3-2) a 3-0 lead two minutes into the game, putting the first points of the game on the board, as both teams were unable to score on their first three possessions. A Bronco (2-2) layup and a free-throw by Kolby Lee brought the score to 4-2 but began a scoring drought that lasted until the 13:54 mark when Boise State evened the game at 4-all.
Coming off the bench, Zac Seljaas converted on a three-point play and Harding hit a jumper to spark the BYU offense and take a 9-6 lead with just under 12 minutes remaining in the first half.
A bucket from beyond the arc by the Broncos tied the game, but Trevin Knell responded with a 3-pointer of his own to give the advantage back to the Cougars with nine minutes on the clock, 12-9.
Cold shooting by BYU and an 8-0 run by Boise State gave the Broncos a nine-point lead, 23-14, with five minutes to play before halftime. A jumper by Toolson ended the drought and was followed by baskets from Harding and Haws to cut into the deficit and bring the score to 25-20.
At halftime, Boise State led 27-20 while recording 40.7 percent from the field compared to the Cougars’ 25.0 percent.
The Broncos scored the first bucket of the second half, but Dalton Nixon answered with a layup and then Toolson hit another trey to bring BYU within four, 29-25 early in the second half.
A 6-0 run by the Cougars that featured buckets by three different players made it a one possession game, 36-33. A layup by Boise State stopped the run, but Harding hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the lead back to BYU, 39-38, with 13:34 on the clock.
With just under six minutes to play and neither team able to take more than a three-point lead, Lee recorded a dunk and Toolson hit a jumper to give the Cougars a 56-55 lead on the eighth lead change since Harding’s treys.
A free-throw by the Broncos evened the game at 58-all with 1:28 remaining in the game. On the next possession BYU missed three shots as the clock ran down to 38 seconds. The Cougars had the final shot in regulation but were unable to convert as the game was sent into overtime.
In overtime, layups by Haws and Nixon gave BYU a 64-62 lead but Boise State answered with five-straight points to take the 67-64 advantage with 1:39 on the clock as the Broncos held on to take the win.
On the game, the Cougars shot 37.8 percent from the field, 29.2 percent from 3 and 71.4 percent from the charity strip. Boise State recorded 41.0 percent from the field, 15.8 percent from beyond the arc and 70.4 percent from the free-throw line.
BYU travels to the compete in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational next week with the first game on Monday, Nov. 25, against UCLA, at 9:30 p.m. MST. The game will be televised on ESPN2 with audio broadcasts available on BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM), BYU Sports Network and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
BYU Head Coach Mark Pope
“I was proud of our guys for battling back through the frustration. We just have to get better every day and that’s our focus.”
“We’re trying to become a good team and we’re far from it right now. We have a lot of work to do and these games (in Maui next week) give us the opportunity to try to figure out who we’re trying to become.”
BYU Senior Forward Dalton Nixon
“It’s really hard to win on the road. Credit to those guys. Boise State fought throughout the whole game tonight. But, down the stretch, we were unable to make the plays we wanted and fell short on time.”
“Offensively we just struggled to find ourselves and play with the pace we have. And sometimes it happens and it’s important for us to recognize that.”