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BYU falls short at home to No. 21 Iowa State

(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) BYU's Tyler Haws dribble sin to the lane during first half action in the BYU versus Iowa State men's basketball game at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah Thursday, November 21, 2013.

By Jay Drew

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Nov 20 2013 11:03PM
Updated Nov 21, 2013 10:35AM

Provo • For the BYU basketball team, this one is going to sting a while — maybe well into March.

It is early in the season, but the Cougars blew a golden opportunity to grab some national love, and pad their NCAA Tournament resume, by falling 90-88 to No. 21 Iowa State on Wednesday night in front of 15,808 at the Marriott Center and a national television audience.

"We had our chances down the stretch, we just didn’t make the plays we needed to make," said BYU (4-1) guard Tyler Haws, who led his team with 20 points.

With 3.2 seconds remaining, ISU’s Daniel Edozie, who seconds earlier had blocked a Haws jumper in the lane, made one of two free throws to give the Cyclones (4-0) a two-point lead.

BYU coach Dave Rose said he told an official he wanted a timeout after Edozie’s second free throw — make or miss — but Nate Austin grabbed the banked-in shot and quickly inbounded the ball. The referees swallowed their whistles, and all the Cougars could get was an off-balance shot by Kyle Collinsworth that didn’t come close to going in.

"We would like to have had those last three seconds over again," Rose said.

Actually, the Cougars needed a mulligan the last three minutes, after Eric Mika (17 points, nine rebounds) took a shot to the face from ISU’s DeAndre Kane, who was assessed a flagrant two foul and ejected. Mika left the game and was taken to a nearby hospital for an examination to check his right eye for damage.

Rose said Mika’s absence down the stretch "was a factor" because the Cougars missed some short shots in the waning moments and Mika had corralled five offensive rebounds before the injury.

Also, fellow big man Nate Austin could not stop ISU’s Georges Niang, who made three baskets inside in a four-possession stretch that in reality won the game for the Cylones. Niang finished with 19, while Melvin Ejim and Kane had 21 apiece.

"I don’t think it got away from us. We knew we had a chance to win the game," Haws said, noting that the lower abdominal strain that kept him out of the last two games did not bother him. "… You have to give Iowa State a lot of credit. They are tough guys, long and athletic, and they had a great second half."

The Cougars led 36-24 with 5:52 remaining in the first half, and 47-42 at the break. But the Cyclones scratched back, and took their first lead since midway through the first half when Matt Thomas hit a 3-pointer to make it 78-77 with 5:54 left.

The ISU lead stretched to five three times in the last four minutes, but the Cougars kept coming.

Anson Winder missed a free throw with 24 seconds left that would have tied the game, after freshman Frank Bartley failed to complete a 3-point play with 1:11 left. The Cougars were just 12 of 20 from the stripe.

"They are as fast a team as anybody in the nation, and they lived up to that tonight," said Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg. "They just score in bunches, and once that crowd gets into it, it is hard to stop them. … They are so good, and they are so well-coached, we are happy to walk out of here with a win."

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