PROVO, Utah - The BYU men’s basketball team fell short 90-88 in a game that came down to the wire against No. 21 Iowa State on Wednesday night.
"Our guys battled hard," BYU basketball coach Dave Rose said. "They fought to the end. The resistance that Iowa State gave us was pretty strong. They were really tough around the rim. They were tough offensively and defensively. We gave up a couple of offensive rebounds late for scores that kind of broke our spirits a little bit, but our guys hung in there and we fought to the end, but we were just a couple of plays short."
Matt Carlino finished the game with 19 points, four rebounds, seven assists and four steals, while Tyler Haws added a team-high 20 points. Eric Mika, who left the game after a hit to the face, finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and a block.
BYU capitalized on ISU’s turnovers to score 20 points off turnovers, but fell short in rebounding, 46-44, and points in the paint, 50-44. The Cougars didn’t have enough to get over the hump after the Cyclones made a run to go up 82-77 with 4:21 remaining in the game. BYU cut the lead to one, but couldn't tie the game up or take a lead down the stretch.
After trailing early 7-2, the Cougars tied it up at 9-9 with a 3-pointer from Haws at the 15:42 mark. Mika scored eight of BYU’s first 11 points to start the half. With 13:23 remaining in the first half, Austin drew a charge, which led to a strong move to the basket by Collinsworth to take the first lead of the game at 15-14. Carlino scored six-straight points to give BYU a 23-18 lead that also included a block by Anson Winder with just over 10 minutes left in the half.
With 6:50 remaining in the half, Carlino stole a pass and coasted in for an easy layup. He then followed it up with an outlet pass to Winder for an easy layup and an alley oop to Mika for a big dunk and the largest lead of the half up 12 at the 5:53 mark. The Cyclones went on a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to 43-42, but was answered by a baseline jumper by Haws and a jumper by Carlino at the end of the half to keep the lead 47-42.
Mika, Carlino and Haws finished the half with 12 points each.
The second half went back and forth, but included big plays by Collinsworth’s strong move to the basket to complete the three-point play and go up 67-60 with 16:26 left in the game. Austin drew his second charge of the game with 15:51 remaining. Haws made six free throws in a row to cut the deficit 83-86 and hit a big jumper to cut the lead to two with 0:35 remaining.
ISU’s DeAndre Kane was ejected after a hit to Mika’s face, who also had to leave the game, with 3:21 left in the game. ISU’s Melvin Ejim and Dustin Hogue both fouled out in the last 1:42 of the game. Haws made a baseline jumper to cut the deficit to two, but BYU fell short on a desperate jumper by Collinsworth at the buzzer.
"We rebounded the ball really well for about 30 minutes, then it seemed like the tide changed and they got a couple of really timely offensive rebounds," Rose said. "Those are things that we'll look at and try and improve on. We had some opportunities at the free throw line we didn't capitalize on. It's a long season and this is one game in that season. We'll use it now to try and make us get better. Our guys know that it was a real winnable game for us and we just kind of fell short."
The Cougars hit the road to play Texas at the Sprint Center on Monday at 6:30 p.m. CST. The game will be televised live on ESPNU and broadcast on the Cougar IMG Sports Network on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM.