PROVO — Less than 48 hours after one of the biggest wins of the season over Saint Mary’s, BYU couldn’t find its mojo against a Pacific team that has twice as many losses as wins this season.
Chase Fischer had 23 points, but hit just 3 of 14 field goals, to lead BYU in scoring. Kyle Davis had 21 points, but was just 5 of 10 from the free throw line, including three straight misses in the final minutes of the game as the Cougars were trying to make a late rally.
As a team, BYU was just 20-59 from the floor (33.9 percent) and the Cougars hit just 5-23 3-pointers. Freshman Nick Emery was 0 for 6 from deep and Fischer was 3 for 9. BYU was also outrebounded in the game, unusual for a Dave Rose coached team. Pacific won the battle of the boards 41-36.
Even so, the Cougars (17-8 overall, 8-4 in the West Coast Conference) had a 60-59 lead with 3:50 left in the contest after a free throw by Kyle Collinsworth. Pacific’s TJ Wallace gave the Tigers the lead back on a deep 3-pointer from straight on. A pair of Wallace free throws made it 64-60 with 2:52 to play.
Ten seconds later, Davis, a junior from Draper, glided across the lane and scored with an and-1 opportunity. His missed free throw left the score at 64-62 with 2:42 to play.
After a pair of Pacific charity shots by Eric Thompson made it 66-62, Davis was fouled outside and went to the line again. But his two misses left the Cougars empty on the possession with 2:20 to play.
Emery broke away for a fast break after a Pacific turnover, but the BYU freshman’s shot attempt was blocked by Thompson and Alex Kobre hit a pair of free throws to push the lead to 68-62 with 1:38 left.
The Tigers were 11 of 12 from the line in the last two minutes of the game to keep the Cougars at bay. On the season, Pacific came into the game as a 69-percent free throw shooting team. But Pacific nailed them at the Marriott Center, hitting 25 of 29 for 86.2 percent in the game.
The loss is a crippling one for BYU in the WCC race as the Cougars fall two games behind Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga in the loss column. BYU next plays on Thursday with a road game at San Francisco (8 p.m. MST) and then a Saturday afternoon game at Santa Clara (2 p.m.).
Pacific, which was led by Kobre’s 17 points and Wallace’s 15, improves to 7-15 overall and 5-7 in the WCC.
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