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.”
Carlino attempted just one field goal over the first 10 minutes of the second half. Eric Mika picked up his fourth foul with a little more than eight minutes left.
And that was about the time Pacific went on an 11-2 run, which included a pair of Tiger 3-pointers. A 3-pointer by Gill put Pacific up, 71-60, and the Tigers eventually stretched their lead to 15 — 78-63.
The Cougars rallied behind the scoring of Haws and Carlino, and a Nate Austin dunk made the score 79-75 with two minutes left in the game. But Pacific weathered the storm and held on for the win.
The first half was a game of runs.
Pacific missed its first five shots from the field to open the game, while BYU seized an early 9-0 lead, with Haws and Skyler Halford combining for all nine of those points.
But the Tigers turned things around quickly, enjoying a 17-4 run to go up four points, 17-13, as the Cougars struggled to score.
A bucket by Collinsworth ended a 6 ½ minute field goal drought for BYU.
The Cougars went on a 12-2 run of their own, including Carlino’s first 3-pointer of the half.
With six minutes left in the half, BYU led, 25-19.
From there, the Cougars maintained the lead thanks to Carlino’s 3s, but Pacific kept it close.
BYU led at halftime, 38-35.
Carlino knocked down 4 of 6 3-pointers in the first half and led the Cougars with 14 points.
The bad news for BYU was it hit just 10 of 17 free throws and shot just 41 percent from the field.
Also, four Cougars had two fouls at the break — Haws, Collinsworth, Austin and Mika. Mika’s two personals came during a 30-second stretch.
BYU visits Saint Mary’s Saturday (6 p.m. MST, ESPN2).
NOTES: Carlino eclipsed Keena Young on BYU's all-time scoring list. Young scored 1,068 points in his career. Carlino passed him in the first half. Collinsworth missed a pair of free throws in the first half, giving him six consecutive misses, including four missed free throws at the end of last Saturday’s San Francisco game. Haws’ career double-figure streak reached 40 games.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company