STOCKTON, Calif. — BYU’s road woes continued Thursday night.
And along the way, the Cougars’ NCAA tournament at-large hopes took a major hit.
With an 89-82 loss to Pacific at the Spanos Center, BYU saw its four-game winning streak snapped while it dropped its third straight road game.
The Cougars are now 2-5 this season on the road in conference play.
The Tigers overcame a nine-point first-half deficit and took control of the game over the final 10 minutes with blistering 3-point shooting. Pacific nailed 7 of 9 shots from 3-point territory in the second half. The Tigers shot 52 percent overall in the second half.
“We just didn’t stop what they like to do," said guard Tyler Haws. "They hit big shot after big shot, and we didn’t make them do anything different ... It was a little bit of everything. I think we had a few breakdowns, we didn’t rotate a few times. We just let a few guys get hot. It stinks because we knew their stuff, we knew what they were capable of coming in. They made big play after big play and had a really good second half.”
Matt Carlino came off the bench to score a game-high 28 points for BYU, including six 3-pointers, but it wasn't enough to offset the Tigers' 3-point shooting. Haws, who scored 20 points, fouled out with 1:08 left in the game. It marked the first time in his career that he has fouled out.
“Matt gave us a really good lift offensively," said coach Dave Rose. "In the first half, defensively, he was really good. Obviously, he kept us in the game, especially in the first when we were in a lot of foul trouble.”
It was a physical game that saw officials call 53 fouls.
“I had some key turnovers that really cost us," Carlino said. "It kind of reminded me of the Wichita State game (in November). They hit big shots down the stretch. We’ve just got to finish off the game. It’s something we need to fix because we’re going to be playing only road games here pretty soon. I don’t know how, but we’ve got to fix it.”
Tony Gill paced Pacific with 18 points, including three 3-pointers, while Aaron Short came off the bench to hit three 3s as well. Pacific finished with 10 3-pointers.
“They shot the ball really well from the 3-point line in the second half," Rose said. "Some of them were pretty deep, contested shots. That’s a big number.”
Entering the night, BYU’s NCAA situation was tenuous. Now, its NCAA tournament bubble appears to be on the brink of bursting.
BYU fell to 17-10 overall and 9-5 in the West Coast Conference. Pacific improved to 14-10 and 5-8.
The Cougars fell out of second place in the WCC standings. Saint Mary’s took over second place by virtue of its victory over San Diego Thursday.
The Cougars led by three at halftime.
The two teams traded baskets early in the second half, and a 3-pointer by Andrew Bock gave Pacific a 48-47 edge at the 15-minute mark.
But Short drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to lift the Tigers to their biggest lead up to that point, 60-53, with 11 minutes remaining in the game.
“Some of them were tough and some of them were open," Carlino said of Pacific's 3-point shooting. "We know those guys can hit shots, so we can allow that to happen. That’s on us ... Sometimes we’re on the same page (defensively), but other times we’re not. It’s just a consistency thing.”
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