PROVO — You either credit Loyola Marymount's league-leading 3-point defense or blame total failure of BYU's 3-point shooters who lead the WCC in accuracy in wake of the Lion's 82-68 victory over the Cougars Thursday night.
LMU took an early lead on the Cougars and never let up.
"When you have to make 3-pointers, it becomes a whole lot tougher," said LMU coach Max Good, who watched his squad knock off the Cougars in the Marriott Center, the first team to do so this season since No. 4 Baylor back on Dec. 17.
BYU made just 2 of 25 shots from beyond the arc, an 8-percent effort from a team that ranked No. 1 in the league before tipoff with a season .434 mark from distance. When freshman guard Matt Carlino knocked down his first trey with 50 seconds to play, it doubled BYU's accuracy from 4 percent for the game.
BYU didn't make a 3-point shot until 15:39 when Brock Zylstra delivered. BYU didn't get another from the outside until Carlino at the end.
"BYU has a great program and are a great addition to our league and I said that when they beat our tail at our place," said Good, who avenged a loss to the Cougars on his home court two weeks ago.
The Lions outshot the Cougars 43 to 38 percent for the game, doubling down on BYU postmen Brandon Davies (14 points) and Noah Hartsock (28), which usually opens up Cougar shooters who have pushed BYU to be the No. 1 scoring offense in the WCC.
"It took a great effort and we had to play with a lot of poise on their home court," said Good. "You better have a good game plan and a lot of luck and hope they're missing inside. That darned Hartsock, I saw him in my sleep last night and it wasn't just a dream — it came to fruition tonight.
It was Hartsock who led BYU from behind at LMU for a 73-65 win Jan. 5 with 21 points. He's scored 49 on Good's team.
Hartsock converted 11 of 15 shots to go with his game-high 28. Anthony Ireland, a spunky point guard for the Lions led LMU with 27 including 12 of 14 from the line. The visitors made 29 of 36 free throws, outscoring BYU by 9 from the line.
COUGAR NOTES: BYU's home court loss Thursday puts the 16-5, 5-2 Cougars in a real jam in the WCC race with league leader St. Mary's in town a week from Saturday. "Any time you lose at home, you have to win two on the road," said Good. BYU's only loss last year in Provo was to New Mexico a few days after the suspension of center Davies.
With the game on the line, BYU failed to score in 6 minutes and 40 seconds, a bucket that came off a Hartsock rebound. Hartsock's 11 field goals was his career high. The last time BYU shot this poorly from beyond the arc this season was a 1 for 10 (10 percent) effort against Wisconsin in Chicago. It marked BYU's worst 3-point shooting at home since 2004 when the Cougars went 1 for 15 against UNLV.
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