BYU basketball: Cougars lose to Portland in triple-OT thriller
PORTLAND, Ore. — Just moments after pouring in a career-high 48 points in 50 minutes Thursday night at the Chiles Center, BYU guard Tyler Haws was exhausted.
And, despite recording the third-best offensive performance in school history, he was also disconsolate and dissatisfied.
Haws’ prolific effort — which tied for the most individual points in a Division I basketball game this season — came amid a wild, triple-overtime 114-110 loss at Portland.
“It doesn’t matter unless you win,” said Haws, who hit 17 of 34 shots from the floor. “It stinks to lose like that. We played hard enough to win. It was a crazy game to be in. I felt like we kind of came back from the dead a few times.”
Haws scored a layup to force overtime, then he knocked down a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left in the first OT to send the game into a second overtime.
“Ty made some really big plays for us, not only to get us back in the game, but then to keep us in the game,” said BYU coach Dave Rose.
In the second extra session, Haws hit crucial free throws to help lift the Cougars a 99-91 lead that they ended up squandering in the final two minutes of the second OT. Haws missed a shot at the end of the second OT that could have won the game.
In the third and final overtime, tied at 103, Portland never trailed and closed out the win.
BYU’s last triple-overtime game was a 76-75 win at UTEP in 1998.
While Haws was lighting it up for BYU, the Pilots’ unheralded backup guard, Bobby Sharp, played like an NBA sharpshooter, hitting eight 3-pointers on his way to a career-high 27 points.
Going into Thursday’s contest, Sharp was averaging just seven points per game.
The Cougars say they knew all about Sharp going into the contest. They just couldn’t stop him.
As a team, Portland drilled 14 of 23 3-pointers against BYU.
“You’ve got to give a lot of credit to them,” Haws said. “They hit a lot of big shots, a lot of big 3’s that kept them in it. They made the plays to win. ... They hit tough shots. I feel like our defense and urgency was there. They just hit tough shots. Sharp hit shots with hands in his face. It hurts. We’ve got to find a way to bounce back because we have a tough one on Saturday (at Gonzaga).”
After the victory, Portland fans stormed the court to celebrate. It marked the Pilots’ first-ever win over BYU in 10 meetings.
“It was a competitive game. It wasn’t the result that we wanted,” Rose said. “We made some great plays to get ourselves back in it. They made some amazing plays. It was an exciting game, probably, to watch.”
The Pilots (12-8, 4-4) also snapped BYU’s five-game winning streak.
The Cougars (13-8, 5-3) lost their hold on second place in the West Coast Conference standings, with a game at first-place Gonzaga on Saturday.
From the outset, Portland had BYU’s full attention.
The Pilots had upset then-No. 22 Gonzaga earlier this month at the Chiles Center, snapping a 20-game losing streak to the ‘Zags. So the Cougars knew they would be in for a battle.
And that’s what BYU got Thursday at the Chiles Center — not to mention a frenetic finish and 15 extra minutes of basketball.
While Sharp did his damage from the outside, Portland center Thomas van der Mars had his way inside, recording a double-double with 27 points and 18 rebounds.
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