"But I thought going into halftime with a four-point lead, we just needed to play an aggressive second half. For the most part, we did."
For the Bears, the key was their outstanding 3-point shooting. Guard Brady Heslip drilled four 3-pointers in the first half and finished with six on his way to 18 points on the day. Baylor knocked down 13-of-25 shots from beyond the arc.
The Cougars knew they had to defend Baylor's athletic big men — Perry, Quincy Miller and Quincy Acy — and Heslip made BYU pay from outside.
"I think their 3-point shooting was a real difference in the game," Rose said. "We tried to help on those post players. When we didn't help on the post players, they seemed to have their way with us."
Midway through the second half, Carlino hit a jumper that propelled the Cougars to a 64-56 lead. Then BYU suffered a five-minute scoring drought as part of a stretch that saw Baylor go on a 20-3 run and seize a 76-67 lead.
The Cougars battled back to within one, but couldn't get back on top.
"We had a spot there in the middle of the second half where they seemed to really be the aggressor and kind of got us on our heels," Rose said. "We recovered from it. There were a lot of really good things that happened in the game, but when you don't win, it's hard to see that."
Abouo finished with 17 points and Noah Hartsock added 15. Freshman Damarcus Harrison came off the bench to score eight points, all in the first half.
"We saw a lot of really good things in this game. This is a team that had us on our heels and we were able to recover from that and get the game back on our side," Rose said.
"I thought our crowd was terrific. The atmosphere, the emotion and the energy in the building was really exciting. Obviously you want to win the game, but for our team and our situation, where we are right now, I thought that was a really good effort. We're not pleased by any means with the result, but we can build on that and get better."
The Cougars return to action Tuesday when they host Buffalo.
- BYU's big plays, big second half, spell...
- Hillary's grace: Watching her daughter...
- BYU-Utah State: How to watch, listen to or...
- Utes outlast Colorado to cap best Pac-12...
- BYU's bowl destination — Las Vegas or...
- Utah's first family of rodeo: Riding buckin'...
- Schedule only gets tougher for BYU basketball...
- Dick Harmon: After tossing 4 TDs, BYU's...
- BYU expecting a 'dogfight' in Logan... 60
- Utes fall to No. 23 in playoff... 52
- Morning links: Beehive State coaches on... 42
- BYU holds on for tougher-than-expected... 34
- Doug Robinson: It's the same old sad... 31
- Utah State denies David Collette's... 30
- Utes outlast Colorado to cap best... 30
- Mangum 'humbled' to be BYU's... 29