Everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the BYU Cougars during their last game against St. Mary's, and the result was a WCC-opening 98-82 loss to the Gaels.
But BYU big man Brandon Davies played well, scoring a career-high 28 points on 11 of 18 shooting. He also had seven rebounds and five steals. The performance was a precursor of things to come, as the 6-9 junior has put together a phenomenal WCC season.
Davies will be a huge key to tonight's game (7 p.m., ESPNU) as the Cougars look to avenge that 16-point loss.
"We are all expecting to play well. We got to play better than we did out there. That includes myself and everyone else on the team," Davies said.
Davies is first in the league in scoring (19.3 ppg.) in WCC games, and second in rebounding (9.6).
"We played well against them, but at the end of the day it wasn't enough to get that win. That's our ultimate goal each game. It doesn't matter who puts up the numbers. All that matters is getting the win," he said.
He said this is a do-or-die game for the Cougars.
"That is the way we are going to look at it. We don't have any more room for error. That's how we feel. We are going to go out there and play better than we have been in the past."
As I noted in my advance of tonight's game, the Cougars generally don't play up the revenge factor. But they said to a man Friday that the loss on Dec. 29 has stuck in their craw for a month now.
"We are all excited to play St. Mary's again and get that second shot at them," Davies said. "Yeah, I guess you could say [BYU wants payback]. We are just trying to get the win, trying to do whatever it takes to get that win, and we fell short out there. It is up to us out there on the court to give our all and make sure it doesn't happen again."
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