LAS VEGAS — Behind Eric Mika's 25 points and 21 from Nick Emery, No. 3 seed BYU men’s basketball topped No. 6 seed Loyola Marymount 89-81 in the quarterfinals of the West Coast Conference Basketball Championships held at the Orleans Arena on Saturday.
"It was a really hard fought game," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "Both teams came out comfortable and confident. But, I think I am most proud of our guys for responding to their runs. We’d get a little lead and they come back at us, and we were able to respond every time and that is a sign of a team that is playing tight together as a group and executing well. We are looking forward to the next round."
Fueled by three consecutive 3-point baskets in three trips down the court, the Cougars started the game on a 9-2 run. LMU countered with a run of its own to bring the Lions within three, 11-8, as Brandon Brown drained a deep 3-pointer.
After the Cougars jumped out to a six-point 16-10 lead, the Lions responded with 9-1 run to take their first lead of the game, 19-17, at the 12:23 mark of the first half.
LMU increased its advantage to five, 26-21, before Mika buried a pair of free throws to give BYU its first points in over five minutes of play. On the next Cougar possession, Mika tied the game at 26-all as the sophomore and All-WCC First Team awardee converted a 3-point play.
With 6:26 to go in the half, Yoeli Childs found Mika cutting down the lane for a dunk to give BYU a four-point 34-30 lead. After LMU made it a one-point game with 51 seconds on the clock, four-straight points from Childs gave the Cougars the 42-38 advantage going into halftime.
The Lions scored a quick four points out of the break to tie the game at 42-all, before Emery silenced the run with a trey. Mika then scored six-straight Cougar points to force an LMU timeout.
BYU continued to find success offensively, logging a 14-point lead at 65-51 with 12:52 on the clock. The Lions responded with full-court pressure to pull within seven, 69-62, as Buay Tuach finished a layup off of a Cougar turnover.
LMU continued its run, scoring five consecutive points to make it a two-point 69-67 game with 6:36 left. After a pair of 1 for 2 trips to the free-throw line for the Cougars, a Davin Guinn steal, followed by a Mika bucket, stopped the LMU momentum and gave BYU a 73-67 advantage.
At the 1:44 mark, Emery made two foul shots to give BYU a 81-74 lead. On the next possession, the Lions drained a 3-point field goal to bring them within four, 81-77.
Haws closed the game out with six consecutive free throws to secure the 89-81 win.
BYU men’s basketball moves on to the semifinals of the WCC Championships and will face either No. 2 seed Saint Mary’s or No. 10 seed Portland on Monday March 6 in the semifinals.
BYU men’s basketball (20-7, 10-3 WCC) was defeated by UCLA (19-9, 13-6 Pac-12), 73-62, in the First Round of the NCAA…
The following notes are from BYU's 73-62 loss to UCLA on Saturday, March 20, 2021, at Hinkle Fieldhouse.s
BYU men’s basketball will face UCLA (18-9, 13-6) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Hinkle Fieldhouse in…
BYU senior guard Alex Barcello was named one of 42 players nationwide to receive the honorable mention honors on…