Cougars fall 74-54 to No. 6 Gonzaga in WCC finals
LAS VEGAS – BYU men's basketball fell 74-54 to No. 6 Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference championship game Tuesday night in the Orleans Arena.
"Gonzaga had a tremendous tournament and tonight they were a handful for us," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "I'm proud of our guys and how we competed early in the game. It's tough when games get one sided, but from top to bottom our guys showed who they are and hung in there."
Yoeli Childs led the team with 20 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. Elijah Bryant contributed 11 points, three rebounds and three assists. Payton Dastrup recorded 11 points and four rebounds off the bench.
The Cougars started the game with a 5-0 run to take an early lead and defensively held Gonzaga to zero points in the first three minutes of the game.
Childs scored his second trey of the night to even the game at 8-all with 16:03 on the clock.
Back-to-back buckets by the Bulldogs put them on top, 18-14, with 11:28 to go in the first half.
After a scoreless five minutes for BYU, Bryant finished at the rim to start the Cougars on a 7-0 run to take back the lead, 21-20, with 6:32 remaining before halftime.
The sixth three in a row for Childs – dating back to the Saint Mary's game – tied the game at 27-all with three minutes left in the first period. Gonzaga answered with an 11-2 run to take a 38-29 lead into the locker room.
BYU shot 36.7 percent from the field compared to the Bulldogs' 44.4 percent.
The second half began with a 4-0 run by Gonzaga, forcing a timeout by the Cougars with 17:38 remaining in the game and the Bulldogs on top 42-29.
BYU's first basket of the second half came at the 14:55 mark when Bryant finished a layup to make the score 50-31 for Gonzaga.
Dastrup came off the bench and scored six-straight points, sparking a 10-0 run by the Cougars, making the score 65-41 with 7:30 left in the game.
The final minutes of the game saw a 7-2 run by BYU to make the final score 74-54 in favor of Gonzaga.
The Cougars shot 35.5 percent from the field, 31.6 percent from three and 80.0 percent from the free-throw line. The Bulldogs shot 46.8 percent from the field, 43.5 percent from beyond the arc and 85.7 percent from the charity stripe.
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