Cougars topped by No. 14 Gonzaga, 68-60
SPOKANE, Wash. - The BYU men's basketball team fell 68-60 to No. 14/12 Gonzaga Saturday night in the McCarthey Athletic Center.
"The last couple games we had lost our physical edge and I thought tonight it was a challenge for our guys to come out and show toughness," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "It's difficult to lose that one but the guys played hard and played together."
TJ Haws led the offense with 22 points and four assists. Luke Worthington scored a career-high 16 points, while grabbing three rebounds. Yoeli Childs recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. He also tallied four assists and one block.
A dunk by Childs was the first bucket of the contest and was followed by baskets on both ends of the court. The Bulldogs went on to take an early 12-6 lead with 16 minutes left on the clock.
Haws hit his first trey of the night to bring the Cougars within one and a layup by Bryant gave BYU a 13-12 advantage.
With just over 12 minutes to go and Gonzaga on top by one, 16-15, the Childs came out of the first break of the game and recorded a block and answered on the other end with a bucket of his own to put BYU back on top, 17-16.
The Bulldogs went on an 8-0 run to take a 24-17 lead with 9:11 remaining in the half.
Gonzaga stayed in control for the remainder of the first half, going into the locker room on top 36-26. The Bulldogs shot 50.0 percent from the field and the Cougars shot 41.4 percent.
A 7-0 run by BYU that ended with a 3-pointer by Haws early in the second half brought the Cougars within four, 39-35.
A jumper by Worthington and a pair of free-throws by Bryant tied the game at 43-all with 13:16 remaining in the game.
The Bulldogs regained control, taking a 51-45 lead. Worthington answered with another basket of his own, keeping it a two-possession ball game.
Six-straight points by Haws, including a three-point play and a 3-pointer, brought the Cougars within two, 57-55 with 4:07 to go in the game.
Two more buckets by Haws tied the game at 59-all, but Gonzaga answered with a trey to keep its lead.
Gonzaga held on, making free-throws in the final minute of the game to secure a 68-60 victory.
At the end of the game, BYU shot 44.6 percent from the field, while the Bulldogs shot 43.5 percent.
The Cougars return home as they take on Santa Clara in the Marriott Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. MST. Live coverage will be available on ESPNU and audio broadcasts can be heard on BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143) and KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM.
Yoeli Childs finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds. It was his 12th double-double and 23rd-consecutive game scoring in double figures.
TJ Haws finished with 22 points on 9 of 16 shooting from the field and 3 of 7 from 3-point range. It was his fourth 20-point game of the season and seventh game with three-plus 3-pointers.
Luke Worthington finished with career highs of 16 points and 32 minutes played. He also tied his career high with six made field goals.
BYU guard TJ Haws
On tonight's game
"It's no fun to lose, but I think it's a good building block for us moving forward. I thought we bounced back very well."
"The biggest thing for me is my mentality coming into games. It wasn't great Thursday and tonight was a challenge because I had to bounce back and I thought I did that."
On defending Gonzaga
"It makes it a challenge that they just bring guy after guy. Something we talked about before the game was we need to do what we do defensively and that will help us. For the most part tonight I thought we did well defensively."
On looking forward
"It's basketball, you never want to lose two in a row. We will see what we are made of and what we can do. We will see how we show up at practice Monday and hopefully we can bounce back Thursday and get a win."
BYU head coach Dave Rose
On Worthington starting
"You have to look at the matchup. Luke is one of our most physical guys and one of the most selfless players. We had a long talk as a team and coaches to figure out what our best matchup would be in this game and he proved us all right. With Yoeli and Luke in there we were way more solid."
On bouncing back from Thursday
"We had a pretty good long talk at breakfast on Friday morning. There are so many things that go into a disappointing outing and then to correct it and move forward. The guys and coaches accept the responsibility for where it lies and we just talk it out to a place where you are going to move forward. Obviously we didn't expect to come out here and get two losses. We really need to find a consistent piece to us where we can get a group of guys who are playing well on both ends of the floor then we can beat anybody."
On looking forward
"Hopefully we will have a good week at practice and guys will respond from this in a positive way. The most important thing now is that we learn about ourselves and what we really are and what we need to do and focus on. Hopefully as a young group together we can get better each week."
BYU finishes up its three-game home stand on Saturday, February 4, when the Cougars host Pacific at the Marriott Center…