BYU vs. Illinois Postgame Notes
Nick Emery has hit a 3-pointer in 20-consecutive games (tied for the 8th-longest streak in BYU history) dating back to the 2015-16 season. He finished with three treys against Illinois. He collected 16 points on the night – his ninth time this season with double-digit points. Emery finished with four steals.
Yoeli Childs has had a block in three-straight games and in 10 of 11 games overall this season. He finished with a career-high three blocks as well as a career-high two steals. He led the team in rebounds at the half with five and finished with a team-high nine boards.
TJ Haws finished with three steals. He has had 3-plus steals three times this season. Haws has made a 3-pointer in four-straight games and in 9 of 11 so far this season. He finished with 10 points to reach double figures for the fourth-straight game and seventh time this year.
Eric Mika had 11 points at the half and finished with a game-high 25 points. He’s had at least 20 points in five of the last six games and seven total times this year.
L.J. Rose led the team in assists with nine – matching his season high against Coastal Carolina.
Colby Leifson ended the game with a career high six points and two 3-point field goals.
The Cougars were behind 43-37 at the half – just the third time this season they trailed at the midway point. BYU falls to 2-3 in neutral-court games this year.
The Cougars assisted on 22 of 26 shots for the game.
As a team, BYU went 8 of 10 from the charity stripe in the first half – finishing 14 of 18. Illinois shot just 45.5 percent from the free throw line.
The Fighting Illini edged the Cougars in the rebound category 39-36.
Illinois had 28 bench points compared to seven for BYU.
BYU head coach Dave Rose:
"We played hard enough. We had a good plan, got behind early, kind of adjusted to everything and found a way to get back into the game. Then it was time to win the game. And when it was time to win the game – that wasn’t our best."
"We let the ball hit the floor three different times, and they got it on missed shots. We couldn’t take the ball and go down and take the lead. We gave them three looks from the 3-point line at one point and they banged in the third one. We actually got the rebound on one possession and had it taken away from us. Those are the plays, execution-wise, where we kind of just go from guard to guard and the guy runs through it and steals it – those are the things that I think we can correct."
"In a game like this where you work so hard to get back in it – you have to get ahead. You have to get that team to come down on a possession where they haven’t been behind the whole time and they’re behind right now. But we never got to that spot. We had quite a few chances to do that and that’s what’s kind of disappointing. I feel bad for our guys because they did fight. They fought really hard but the execution didn’t happen late."
On how to address the young team
"This group of guys – this is new to all of them. Obviously, since it’s a new team, a different group of guys. Those are games that over the years, we’ve had more experience out there on there on the floor making decisions."
"The other night we had really young guys out there on the floor and we were able to win that game. So, what’s the difference between that game and this one? That’s hard to find. When you’re dealing with winning and losing issues and you’re not talking about effort issues – then you really have a chance to improve as a group. This is execution. We just have to get better."
On near comeback win
"We gained some momentum there late, but we missed a couple of loose balls that we probably should have had on the defensive end, giving them a couple more opportunities to score. I think that really hurt us."
On 3-point performance
"I was a lot more comfortable being in the flow of the game. I think playing in the first half helped a lot mentally to know that I could be out there in the second half and have a chance to contribute."
On coming off the bench
"I think just staying ready is big. From the beginning they've talked about growing this thing. We have a ton of talent on the bench. That's been huge. Coach has emphasized that before each game. He said that at at the hotel before we left for shoot-around today. He said that there will be opportunities for guys to step up, so stay ready. I made eye contact with him, so I think that was a sign from upstairs to just be ready for tonight."