There was no Tyler Haws magic this time for BYU.
The Cougars trailed No. 12 Wichita State by just three with 2:10 remaining but were outscored 11-1 by the Shockers to close the game, aided by Nate Austin’s ejection and Dave Rose’s technical. The final score of 75-62 was not indicative of the competitive nature of the contest.
The Shockers shockingly held BYU to just seven assists on the night, compared to their 13. They also outshot the Cougars from the field and the free-throw line, out-rebounded them, had more steals and blocks and had fewer turnovers. It is somewhat surprising then that BYU still had a chance to win in the closing minutes.
It is debatable whether Wichita State is truly a top-15 team. What is not debatable is that the Shockers made the Final-4 last season and returned a significant amount of their players this year. Considering the competition, and the fact BYU did not bring its A-game Tuesday night, it's a positive sign that the Cougars will be able to compete in every game they play if they can make progress in a few areas.
Nate Gagon is a published sports, music, and creative writer. He is also a wholehearted father, grateful husband and ardent student of life. He shoots roughly 94% from the free throw line and can be reached at: email@example.com or @nategagon.