Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
PROVO — Boasting one of the nation's top forwards, Perry Jones III, and a cast of other talented players, No. 6 Baylor put its perfect record on the line as it visited a sold-out, raucous Marriott Center. BYU, energized by guard Matt Carlino's first appearance in a Cougar uniform, was poised to spring a huge upset.
It had all the makings of a classic game Saturday afternoon — and the two teams delivered.
In the end, the Bears downed BYU 86-83 in a thriller before a crowd of 22,700.
The Cougars (8-3) had a couple of chances to send the game into overtime, as Carlino, who scored 18 points in his debut, missed a 3-pointer with six seconds left.
"I should have made it," Carlino said afterwards. "I thought it was in."
"I had no doubt in my mind that it was going in if I had gotten the shot off," said Davies, who recorded a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds. "But they made a great defensive play. You have to give them credit for that. I had no idea where (Jackson) came from. I didn't see him at all."
"The play that we had called, we were going to race it up and try to get it to our guard popping out for a 3-point shot," said BYU coach Dave Rose. "I thought we had a better opportunity in transition to get that shot off than if we call a timeout. We kind of got out of kilter and got the ball to Brandon, who's not our best 3-point shooter, and they made a nice play."
Just prior to those final two BYU possessions, Jones, who scored a game-high 28 points, went down with what appeared to be a serious knee injury, stopping play for several minutes as he lay on his back, being attended to by trainers.
But after play resumed, Jones checked back into the game and his putback with 20 seconds remaining gave the Bears (9-0) a 3-point advantage.
"We think we have a rebound and Perry Jones jumps up and grabs it and sticks it back in," said Rose. "(Baylor) made plays. They deserved to win."
The Cougars were, of course, disappointed with the outcome, knowing that, with a win, they had an opportunity to crack the Top 25 rankings for the first time this season, and secure a signature win that would have looked awfully good, especially in March.
"Baylor made some terrific plays, especially down the stretch," said Rose. "We had quite a few chances there. We just came up a play or two short. Our guys are really disappointed in the locker room, and they should be because they believed we could come in here and win the game."
"I expected us to play against a really good team and we did," Carlino said. "I expected us to compete really well, and we did. But we expected to win, too."
The first of Carlino's four 3-pointers lifted BYU to a 13-point advantage, 41-28, with a little more than two minutes left in the first half. But the Cougars squandered that lead as Baylor went on a 10-1 run to end the first half. Despite the fact BYU held a 26-11 rebounding advantage, it led by just four, 42-38, at intermission.
"You have to credit BYU's team for playing outstanding in the first half," said Baylor coach Scott Drew. "They got multiple good shot attempts and I think that was because of their heart and toughness. It's a good group of guys. The crowd got them going. The crowd was outstanding."
"They changed their personnel and went with two point guards and pressured us," Rose said about the final minutes of the first half. "Instead of it speeding us up, we got a little bit timid and turned the ball over a time or two.
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