PROVO, Utah – The BYU men’s basketball team could not overcome a hot shooting night from the San Francisco Dons in a 99-87 loss on Saturday night at the Marriott Center.
“I thought that San Francisco played a great second half," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "We had a difficult time containing the ball in whatever defense we were in. They drove against us pretty well and kicked it to open shooters, and really got on a roll there in the second half. We had a hard time matching it and kind of lost the momentum. They just didn’t let up.”
BYU led by nine at the half (48-39) but shot just 35.5 percent in the second half while San Francisco shot 72.0 percent, including an incredible 9 of 10 from 3-point land. The Dons shot 57.1 percent overall for the game including 14 of 23 from three (60.9 percent) while the Cougars were just 31.6 percent from downtown for the game.
BYU had five players in double figures. Brock Zylstra led with 18, Tyler Haws had 16, Brandon Davies added 13 and Craig Cusick and Matt Carlino added 12 and 10, respectively. San Francisco matched it with five of their own in double digits en route to outscoring the Cougars 60-39 in the second half.
Both teams got off to a slow start; BYU missing its first three attempts from downtown but kept up with the Dons for an 8-8 tie with 15:26 to go in the first half.
BYU picked up a 22-17 lead with the help of Bronson Kaufusi’s back-to-back buckets. Both baskets came inside and he added a free throw after his second for a three-point play. Cory Calvert got another three-point play at the 10:37 mark in the first half.
San Francisco kept in it with Chris Adams knocking down his third three of the half to cut the Cougar lead to 28-24. BYU responded with a quick six points to make it 34-26 with just over four minutes until the break.
Zylstra knocked down a three to give BYU a 13-point advantage but San Francisco answered right back to make it 44-34 with one minute to go. BYU took a 48-39 lead into the locker room thanks to Zylstra and Davies who had 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Zylstra drilled his second three of the game and Craig Cusick added a long two to extend the BYU lead to 60-47 just five minutes into the second half.
Back-to-back triples from San Francisco cut BYU’s lead down to six at 66-60 halfway through the second half. San Francisco continued its torrid scoring pace to trim the deficit to just 70-69 with 7:03 to go in the game.
The Dons retook the lead with their 12th make from outside the arc and added another one on the next possession to give them a 75-72 lead with 5:56 remaining.
The Cougars trailed the Dons 83-77 with 2:48 to play but San Francisco pushed its lead to 88-79 at the 1:24 mark.
BYU tried extending the game with fouls but eventually fell 99-87.
Up next, BYU hosts Portland on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. MST at the Marriott Center. The game will be televised on BYUtv and broadcast on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM. BYU will retire the jerseys of Mel Hutchins and Roland Minson at halftime of the Portland game.