Eric Mika recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 28 points and 10 rebounds. This is the first time the Cougars have lost with Mika notching a double-double. He has reached double figures in all 16 games on the year. This is his eighth 20-point game of the year.
In just the first half, Nick Emery snagged a career-high five steals, the first Cougar to grab five steals since Kyle Collinsworth against Valparaiso last season. He finished the game with five to go with his nine points. Additionally, he continued his streak of threes made in a game, this being his 25th game in a row with a triple, which is the third longest streak in BYU history.
Back on the court for the first time since Nov. 23, Elijah Bryant matched his career high 11 points. He made two shots from beyond the arc. He was the only other player besides Mika to reach double figures.
Senior guard L.J. Rose dished out five assists, his 10th time doing so this year. He leads the team in assists with 86. In the loss, he had five points to go with his five assists.
In the first half, BYU shot 48.3 percent (14 of 29). The Cougars finished the game shooting 44.3 percent.
BYU lost its second game of the year by double digits tonight. The Cougars battled early in the first half, leading 17-14 at the 13:49 mark. The two teams tied a few times in the next few minutes before the Gaels went on a run to push ahead.
After being down 44-36 at the break, BYU is now 1-4 when trailing at the half.
This was BYU’s first game against a top-25 team this year. The last matchup against a ranked team was against Saint Mary’s last season in the Marriott Center.
(From radio postgame with Greg Wrubell)
BYU head coach Dave Rose
On Saint Mary’s
“Saint Mary’s does a really good job countering everything you try to do. They find the guy that’s open. It’s an unselfish team, a team that you have to get them on a night when you can fluster them a little bit. We thought we could create a few more turnovers, but it was really difficult to handle their big guy inside. Eric was really good tonight too. He just battled down low, but our guards were a little flustered. We just never got going. Our guys never folded, but the main thing is Saint Mary’s just executed the game better than we did.”
“There were some really good things that happened out there tonight. We need to get better in a lot of ways, but I thought Elijah’s minutes were good. The biggest difference in the game tonight was we tried to force things on offense. For the most part, Eric was our guy. Other than that, it seemed like we were kind of fishing.”
On Elijah Bryant
“I thought we would play him maybe two or three minutes in the first half and the same in the second half, but I think he has a lot of game that will really help our team. Now we just need to fit it in.”
“Pacific has a new coach and a lot of the same players. Hopefully we can put together a 40-minute game where we compete like we competed tonight, but we execute. There is a positive vibe in this group. They never yelled at each other. We will bring them all back tomorrow and get a game plan together.”
Senior guard L.J. Rose
On Saint Mary’s
“They are a mature team. They don’t beat themselves, they don’t make mistakes and they hit timely threes. They took the momentum away from us. We are a young team and we will learn from this.”
On the team’s struggles
“When we needed stops, we weren’t able to get them. We had some empty possessions on offense as well. That’s something that comes from frustration. We have to learn how to counteract the frustration.”
“We have to regroup. We have another one in 36 hours and we can’t lose two in a row. We need to get back on track, regroup and win that game at home. We didn’t give up. There were plays when we could’ve had more effort. We made some mental mistakes, but physically we were playing as hard as we could.”