PROVO — The Cougars got hit in the mouth, losing 80-66 to the Gaels. They did show some fight at the end, but it was far too little, too late. Grades are in for their collective performances on the night.
Brandon Davies was active and aggressive, but went only 6-18 from the field while accounting for six turnovers. Davies has been going to the foul line a lot of late, but went just 2-4 from the stripe. He finished with 14 points.
Noah Hartsock was again BYU's most consistent and best offensive player, but only attempted nine shots. He finished with 15 points on 5-9 shooting while hitting all five of his foul shots.
Both Davies and Hartsock struggled in defending Brad Waldow who finished with 19 points on 8-10 shooting.
Nate Austin provided some good energy off the bench, finishing with four points and three rebounds. Grade: B-
Charles Abouo had an inconsistent effort, finishing with just six points on 2-3 shooting before fouling out. He did provide some good on-ball defense defending Mathew Dellavedova late, but BYU could have used a better and more consistent effort from its starting two-guard.
Brock Zylstra was a complete non-factor throughout the course of the game. He finished with zero points on 0-5 shooting, but did account for three steals in his 27 minutes of play.
Anson Winder provided some much-needed energy off the bench in the first half. He finished the night with eight points on 3-5 shooting and three steals, starting the second half in place of Abouo.
The perimeter defense wasn't good, particularly in the first half when St. Mary's built its lead, hitting some wide-open 3-point attempts. Grade: C-
Matt Carlino again struggled with his shot, but was able to drive to the basket effectively late when BYU made its final run. He finished the night with 15 points on 6-15 shooting and three assists.
Craig Cusick contributed a 3-pointer in his 10 minutes of play.
The point position, like the wings, gets docked for lack of effective perimeter defense in the first half. Grade: C-
St. Mary's is a very good basketball team, but not good enough to where they should maintain a double-digit lead at the Marriott center. The Cougars got hit in the mouth, but deserve credit for not giving up and fighting the Gaels until the final buzzer. Grade: C