The sun came up today in Portland — which is actually newsworthy in this place — and the BYU Cougars awoke to the realization that they lost another West Coast Conference basketball game on the road at a place they had never lost one before.
After dropping games at Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine for the first time ever as a WCC member in late December, the Cougars lost 114-110 at the Chiles Center in Portland. It was not only BYU’s first-ever loss at the domed arena that looks like a much-smaller version of Weber State’s Dee Events Center, purple seats and all, it was the Cougars’ first-ever loss to the Pilots.
BYU is now 9-1 all-time against Portland.
Here’s my final game story, which includes a few quotes from BYU coach Dave Rose and star player Tyler Haws, who scored 48 points, a career high and the third-most points ever by a BYU basketball player.
Couple of quick notes from the box score:
* Haws did not have an assist in 50 minutes of play.
* Nate Austin played more than any other player, 52 minutes, and was 5 of 6 from the free-throw line on a night where every shot mattered. He grabbed 15 rebounds.
* Eric Mika failed to reach double figures, snapping a 17-game streak in double figures. He had just four points and four rebounds in 31 minutes, and was clearly outplayed by UP's Thomas van der Mars, who had a career-high 27 points and 18 rebounds.
* Freshman Frank Bartley IV did not play in a game that lasted 55 minutes.
* Matt Carlino had a phenomenal game off the bench: 25 points, nine assists, seven steals and two rebounds. And no turnovers. None.
I will have plenty of other thoughts about one of the craziest games I have ever covered — or tried to cover, sitting behind fans on the concourse who were rightfully standing the last few minutes of the game and through most of the overtimes.
For now, here are some comments gathered from Rose and Haws after the marathon game:
Rose on summing up the game:
“Well, I thought it was a competitive games. Both teams were playing really hard. It wasn’t the result that we wanted.
We made some great plays to get ourselves back in it, and then they made some amazing plays. Pretty exciting game, probably, to watch.
Rose on what he tells guys after a loss like that:
“Initially you tell them you are proud of their fight. There isn’t a whole lot anybody can say right now to make them feel better.
We will have to go back and digest it a little bit, then put it behind us and get ready for Saturday.”
Rose on UP’s Bobby Sharp being in the scouting report and why they couldn’t stop him:
“We will probably have to go back and see some of those shots he hit. We probably stepped off once or twice. Some of the ones where he came off screens were just really tough shots. But he got going.”
Rose on Tyler Haws’ career high and performance:
“Ty made some really big plays for us, not only to get us back in the game, but then to keep us in the game. Then he had a tough defensive assignment late in the game, guarding Bailey. I thought he did a real good job defensively, besides all the offensive plays he made for us.”
Rose on going into Gonzaga after this kind of game:
“Really, you just want to win. It doesn’t really matter what the minutes or the overtimes. We will have to regroup and see how we respond to this one.”
Rose on letting Thomas van der Mar go off inside for 27 points and where it got away:
“They made some great shots. But a lot of those big rebounds off missed free throws that we didn’t get, could have sealed it for us. We could have shot better from the free-throw line. And some of those 3-point shots they made were just really clutch.”
Haws on the loss being a tough one to swallow:
It just stinks to lose like that. I thought we played hard enough to win. I don’t know, it was just a crazy game to be in. It felt like we came back from the dead a few times.
You got to give a lot of credit to them. They hit a lot of big shots, a lot of big threes that kept them in it. And they just made the plays to win.”
Haws on blowing the 8-point lead in second overtime:
“They hit shots. They hit tough shots. I felt like our defensive urgency was there. They just hit tough shots. [Bobby] Sharp just came off and hit shots with hands in his face. It just hurts. But we gotta find a way to bounce back, because we got a tough one Saturday.”
Haws on Bobby Sharp on the scouting report:
“Yeah, we talked a lot about it. We know he’s a shooter. I felt like we were right there. He just made tough shots.”
Haws on notching his career high:
“It doesn’t matter unless you win. It stinks that we had to go out this way.”
Haws on Kyle Collinsworth’s drive with score tied, then losing ball off his knee in final seconds:
“I can’t even remember the play. I am tired. We just battled. There were so many plays that could have helped us win. We had our chances, for sure.”
Haws on the difficulty now of coming back vs. Gonzaga:
“First, we got to get our bodies right, that No. 1. Just drink lots of fluids and get feeling right, and then just prepare like we always do and just keep fighting. That’s all we can do.”