I hope our guys go in with a lot of confidence but we've got to improve. We've got a lot of inexperienced guys who are trying to grow up on the job. —BYU coach Dave Rose
EUGENE, Ore. — Another chance to knock off a ranked team, another double-digit lead ... and only more frustration for BYU.
It may be even more painful this time as 13th-ranked Oregon rallied to force overtime and then turned back the Cougars 100-96 on Saturday night in front of 8,035 at Matthew Knight Arena.
"This one hurts," said Tyler Haws, who led the Cougars with 32 points. "We felt like we had it for most of the game and just let it slip away.
"They just made shots, they just made the plays. You've got to give them some credit. They made the plays to win the game."
The Cougars (9-5) had previously lost to the three other ranked opponents on their schedule — Iowa State, Wichita State and UMass — with all of those games also away from Provo. BYU's other defeat was at Utah.
The loss closed out the nonconference portion of BYU's schedule. The Cougars open their West Coast Conference slate next Saturday at Loyola Marymount.
"I hope our guys go in with a lot of confidence but we've got to improve," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "We've got a lot of inexperienced guys who are trying to grow up on the job."
It showed in various ways. The Cougars missed 13 of their 34 free throws in the game, and only made nine of 16 in the second half, when a couple more might have put the outcome away. The Cougars also had 18 turnovers, which led to 22 points for Oregon (11-0).
"Everybody will think about the last couple of plays but we had a lot of chances," Rose said.
The game went into overtime when Oregon's Elgin Cook missed two free throws with 1.8 seconds on the clock and the game tied at 84-84. The Cougars were outscored 11-1 over the game's final two and a half minutes leading up to Cook's failed attempts at ending the game in regulation.
"We played 38 minutes of the game and we didn't finish it out," Haws lamented.
Given that reprieve by Cook's missed free throws, the Cougars were seemingly not going to let their second chance go for naught as they scored on their first four possessions of the extra session, but Oregon answered each time to keep the game knotted at 92-92.
It was still tied at 94-94 when Frank Bartley IV was called for an offensive foul to negate his layup with 46 seconds left, leading to Damyean Dotson's drive to the basket for a 96-94 lead, the first advantage for Oregon since the game's opening minute.
After Kyle Collinsworth made one of his two free throws with 27 seconds left, Oregon (11-0) beat the BYU pressure for a layup and after the Cougars failed to score, Mike Moser's two free throws with 10 seconds left provided a cushion.
In addition to Haws, four other Cougars finished in double figures, including 15 for Collinsworth and 14 for Matt Carlino. Jason Calliste, a transfer from Detroit, came off the bench to lead Oregon with 31 points, including seven consecutive points for the Ducks that drew them within 78-76 with a little over four minutes left in the game.
Carlino stemmed that rally with a 3-pointer from the right wing and two free throws to up the BYU lead back to seven points with just under four minutes remaining.
BYU had the opportunity to build on that margin, but three missed shots and two turnovers on the next four possessions opened the door for the Ducks, and a three-pointer by Joseph Young, who finished with 25 points, pulled Oregon with 83-80 as the clock ticked under two minutes.
Nate Austin hit one of two free throws with 1:15 left to make it 84-80, but Oregon's Johnathan Loyd cut the deficit in half with two free throws on Austin's fifth foul only three seconds later. BYU's other big man, Eric Mika, also fouled out which impacted the Cougars at both ends of the court.
"That definitely had a big effect on us," Haws said. "We get a lot smaller when those guys leave ... (Oregon) got some rebounds that we should have got."
Moser tied the game at 84-84 in the final minute with a jumper from the left side of the key. When another BYU shot missed, the Ducks had the ball with less than 30 seconds left, and the chance to go for the winning points, which Loyd set up with a pass to Cook.
When Cook couldn't connect for the win, Rose told the Cougars "the most important thing was to get our minds right, we're lucky to be in overtime and don't feel sorry for yourself.
"We played hard enough to win, we competed, we just need to play better."