The Texas Longhorns led the majority of the second half, but BYU found a way to lead when it mattered most. With 1:45 remaining, the Cougars took the lead on a Tyler Haws jumper and held on via the free-throw line to seal it.
Haws scored 19 of the last 21 points for BYU after enduring one of the least impressive stretches of his college career — scoring just two points and doing little else in the first 25 minutes of the game. The last 15 minutes, however, he redeemed himself and then some.
On one hand, BYU was lucky just to be in the game at the end. It took a combination of other-worldly 3-point shooting (10-of-12), Texas missing 11 free throws and 18 3-pointers, and the officiating suddenly turning in BYU's favor the last 10 minutes for the Cougars to come away on the plus side in this one.
BYU survived despite being severely outmuscled in the paint by a much bigger Texas team that was more than happy to throw its weight around. Featuring three young highly recruited big men, all at least 6-foot-8 and 240 pounds, the Longhorns pushed the Cougars around inside, pulling down 19 offensive rebounds and blocking nine shots.
Fortunate as it may have been Monday evening, BYU will take the win and move on to play No. 12 Wichita State on Tuesday night for the CBE Hall of Fame Classic championship.
Nate Gagon is a published sports, music, and creative writer. He is also a wholehearted father, grateful husband and ardent student of life. He shoots roughly 94% from the free-throw line and can be reached at: [email protected] or @nategagon.