BYU suffered its second loss of the season Tuesday, victimized by the same thing that beat them the first time: the three-point shot.
La Salle's outside-shooting duo of Doug Overton and Jack Hurd combined to score 64 points - 30 from three-point range - as the Explorers defeated the Cougars 93-81.BYU did some outside shooting also, guard Mark Heslop getting 15 of his team-high 27 points from the far perimeter. But for the game, the Cougars lost the long-distance contest, 39-18, and couldn't make up enough of the difference inside to win it.
The Cougars' inside effort was particularly hampered by the absence of 7-foot-6 center Shawn Bradley, who, in what is starting to become a habit, spent much of the night on the bench in foul trouble. Most of Bradley's fouls came against the Explorers' 6-9 center from The Netherlands, Milko Lieverst. A much bulkier player than Bradley (who isn't?), Lieverst used his heft and experience to get Bradley to commit several unwise fouls.
Bradley finished with four points and six blocked shots.
The Cougars led for much of the first half, outshooting the Explorers from the field although being beat in an intense board battle. And while the Cougars were getting fairly balanced scoring from their starting five, the Explorers were relying on their two designated scorers. Overton scored 11 of La Salle's first 19 points, and Hurd scored 12 straight points during one stretch.
At halftime BYU led 43-38.
Thirty seconds into the second half, with the score 43-40, Bradley was whistled for his third foul and hit the bench again. BYU guard Nathan Call then hit a three-pointer and Kenneth Roberts got a steal and one-hand jam to give BYU an eight-point lead, and that's when La Salle Coach Speedy Morris had seen enough. He called time out, and when he sent his team back on the court they put on a tough man-to-man defense and outscored BYU 26-8 - Overton getting 16 of them - for a 10-point lead.
Bradley came back into the game but picked up a reach-in foul and offensive foul, both involving Lieverst, in about a two-minute span and became the arena's tallest spectator for the rest of the contest.
In fairness to Bradley, he wasn'tthe difference in the game. Bigger factors were BYU's turnovers and poor shooting against La Salle's man-to-man defense, and the Explorers' outside shooting against BYU's man-to-man defense. La Salle's effectiveness outside was reminiscent of East Tennessee State's success from three-point range in the Cougars' season-opening loss.
Besides Heslop, leading scorers for BYU were Steve Schreiner, with 12; and Call and Gary Trost with 10 each.
Overton finished with a career-high 36 points, Hurd with 28. The Explorers' record improved to 3-0.
The loss drops the Cougars to 3-2. They next play Friday night at 7:30 against Eastern Kentucky in the second game of the Cougar Classic at the Marriott Center. The 5:30 game pits 17th-ranked St. John's against George Mason University.