SPOKANE, Wash. — Make it three straight victories for BYU over Gonzaga in Spokane, this one even more impressive than the others.
The Cougars handed No. 1 Gonzaga its first loss of the season, beating the Zags 79-71 on Saturday night at McCarthey Athletic Center.
Eric Mika puts BYU up 73-71 with 1:05 to play, and after a Gonzaga turnover, Corbin Kaufusi rebounded a TJ Haws miss and put back the layup for a four-point lead.
"It felt good, it was a team effort," Mika told ESPN after the game. "We know what we're capable of, we haven't shown it all year, but we showed it tonight."
Another Zags turnover led to Mika shooting free throws, and he hit both to make it 77-71. A Gonzaga missed 3-pointer sealed it, and Nick Emery nailed two free throws to finish the upset. The Cougars scored the final 10 points of the game, as BYU earned its first-ever win over a No. 1 team.
The Cougars went ahead 61-60 on a Mika jumper with 8:38 to play, the first time Gonzaga had trailed in the second half in 15 games. From there, it stayed close.
Mika's lead-changing jumper came just after he made a momentum-changing block on a Zach Collins dunk attempt.
• The Zags led 18-2 to start the game, but BYU responded with a 19-6 run to make it a 31-30 game in the first half.
• Mika hit 1,000 points for his career on a free throw with 17:37 to play in the second half.
• The Cougars outshot Gonzaga from 3-point line, as BYU made 9 of 24 compared to 3 of 16 for the Bulldogs. Haws had five 3-pointers to lead the way, while Emery hit a pair of key back-to-back 3s in the second half.
Records: BYU 21-10 (12-6), 3rd place; Gonzaga 29-1 (17-1), 1st place
BYU: Mika scored 29 points and had 11 rebounds, two blocks and a steal.
Gonzaga: Nigel Williams-Goss had 19 points, three rebounds and two assists.
BYU: No. 3 seed at WCC tournament, March 3-7
Gonzaga: No. 1 seed at WCC tournament, March 3-7