MALIBU, Calif. – Despite a strong second half effort, BYU basketball's comeback fell short as the Cougars lost 80-74 at Pepperdine on Monday at Firestone Fieldhouse. The loss is the fourth-straight for BYU and the Cougars are now 8-7 overall and 0-2 in West Coast Conference play.
"The guys did fight really good to the end," BYU basketball coach Dave Rose. "We had a lot of opportunities and they were creating those opportunities with their aggressive play. Hopefully, we learned a lot in this game as far as just being able to make plays and finish. We got to the free throw line a few times and left some points there and continued to play through that which is a really good sign."
Tyler Haws scored a team-high 20 points to go along with six rebounds, while Kyle Collinsworth filled the stat sheet with 11 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, five steals and two blocks. Skyler Halford ended the game with 11 points off the bench, while Eric Mika added 10 points and seven rebounds of his own.
Matt Carlino put the first points on the board on a drive, but that was followed by a 10-5 spurt by the Waves. A baseline drive by Collinsworth and a jumper by Austin got BYU within one point seven minutes in, but BYU was answered again, this time by an 8-0 run by Pepperdine to lead as the Waves jumped to a 22-13. Halford ended Pepperdine’s run on a layup at the 10:18 mark to cut the deficit to 22-15.
A 6-1 run by BYU included layups by Frank Bartley IV and Mika to make it a seven-point game. With seven minutes remaining in the half, a Collinsworth steal led to a Winder layup to cut Pepperdine’s lead to five at 28-23. A putback layup by Mika was followed by a block at the other end with 3:53 left in the half. Josh Sharp came off the bench to score in the post just before the half. The Cougars trailed 40-28 heading into the locker room.
BYU started the second half on a 9-2 run that included a three-point play by Haws and a layup to cut the deficit to 42-37 with 16:19 remaining. A two-hand dunk by Collinsworth was followed by another dunk by Haws after a Halford steal with under 14 minutes left in the game. With 6:16 remaining, the Cougars went on a 10-0 run to make it a three-point game after an offensive rebound and tip in by Nate Austin.
Austin fouled out with more than five minutes remaining, but the Cougars got it back within four points after a two-hand dunk by Collinsworth with 1:14 left in the game. Anson Winder made BYU’s first 3-pointer late in the game, but it was not enough as the Cougars could never come all the way back.
The Cougars narrowly outrebounded the Waves 42-40 and forced 15 turnovers, while finishing with a total of 10 steals.
BYU welcomes San Diego for the conference home opener on Saturday at 7 p.m. MST. The game will be televised on BYUtv and broadcast on the Cougar IMG Sports Network on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM.
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