I think that's a good sign for us that we can learn from games in the past when we've been behind and weren't able to come back. —Yoeli Childs
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — BYU came from 10 points down with less than 5 minutes left to beat UMass 68-66 on Saturday afternoon in the second game of the Barclays Center Classic.
Yoeli Childs started and finished this one, as he scored BYU's first nine points and slammed home the game-winning dunk with 4.1 seconds left.
Childs had a double-double for the second straight day (he had 21 points and 11 rebounds on Friday against Alabama), as he had 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead BYU. He shot 7 of 15 overall, made a 3-pointer, and most importantly, shot better from the free-throw line, as he made 4 of 6 attempts.
"These two games have been really impressive because we're talking about real size that he had to contend with, and he had 21 and 15 last night, and tonight ends with another double-double and 19-11," BYU head coach Dave Rose said of Childs. "Back-to-back nights, it's two things: No. 1, it shows the effort he's given, but also shows that our guys understand where we need to go with the ball too. But 19 offensive rebounds (for the team) — that's a pretty impressive number when you're just trying to win."
Childs started the game off with a three, followed by a few medium-range jumpers to give BYU a 9-0 lead in the first few minutes, and then an Elijah Bryant layup made it 11-2 at the 16:31 mark of the first half.
Over the next four minutes, UMass made it all back and tied it up at 15 on a 3-pointer by Carl Pierre.
After Zac Seljaas made a jumper to make it 17-15 BYU, UMass responded with a 15-3 run capped by a Chris Baldwin three with 5:33 left in the first half, and it took a 38-28 lead into halftime.
In the second half, Childs got a feed from Bryant, who rebounded a Dalton Nixon miss, to lay it in and cut UMass' lead to three, 46-43.
With 4:58 left in the game, Bryant was stuffed going down the lane by Unique McLean, and at the other end, Pierre drained a three to give UMass a 10-point lead again, 61-51.
"I think me and a few other guys on the team were just trying to get after each other and get some energy going," Childs said of their mindset at that point. "I think we all just really trusted each other and made plays, and said 'don't be scared of turning the ball over — just go out there and make the plays that we make every day in practice,' and if we did that, we'd win the game."
Over the next few minutes, BYU put that philosophy to work and responded with an 11-0 run led by five points from Bryant and capped by his three and a couple of free throws.
One of the key plays down the stretch for BYU was when Payton Dastrup layed one in, after getting an offensive rebound off a Childs miss, to make it 64-63 BYU with 51 seconds left.
Dastrup played just 11 minutes in the game, and all four of his points came in the final five minutes. He also had five rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal.
Rose was asked why he used Dastrup in big minutes down the stretch. "Well, size, I think, and Peyton, I'm so proud of him. I'm just happy for him because, you know, he hasn't played a lot of minutes for us and we have a real plan for him in the future and when that's going to happen, it may be right now," Rose said.
"He's worked hard, but he is the ultimate team guy. I believe that guys get chances and they really have an opportunity to take advantage of that chance if they don't have a lot of baggage about why they're not playing or how upset maybe they are. Peyton's ability to be a team guy made him ready for this moment."
BYU forced three turnovers in the final 2:02, and one of them came from Bryant with 29 seconds left on UMass' C.J. Anderson. With just a 0.6 second difference between shot and game clock, UMass fouled Jahshire Hardnett, who drained both free throws to make it 66-63 BYU.
When UMass got the ball back, Anderson went from the right side to the top of the lane and got a bounce pass in to Rashaan Holloway, who BYU had trouble stopping all day.
Holloway layed it up, made the basket, and a foul was called on Dastrup, so Holloway went to the line as well, and drained the free throw to tie it at 66 with 13.7 seconds left.
The 6-11, 310-pound center from Elmer, New Jersey, finished with 16 points on 6-8 from the field, with eight rebounds and three blocks in just 16 minutes to lead UMass.
BYU had an eternity to get the game-winning basket, and Hardnett drove down the lane, drew the coverage, and got it to Childs coming in from the right for the big dunk to make it 68-66 and send Barclays Center into a frenzy.
"I was pumped for sure, right on the lane," Childs said. "I think that was a really unselfish play for (Hardnett). He could have put it up but he went and found the open guy for what would have been a game winner for him. I think that's the sign of a great point guard and I love playing with him because he doesn't have an agenda."
UMass had plenty of time to tie, and Luwane Pipkins got off a good look from above the key, but it was just left and rimmed out to give BYU the improbable victory.
That capped a tough afternoon for Pipkins, who had just nine points and was 0-5 on 3-pointers, made seven free throws and had just one assist. Pipkins averaged 21.4 points and 4.4 rebounds entering this one.
Bryant was a big part of the BYU comeback in the second half, when the Cougars reversed a 10-point deficit at halftime. He scored 14 of his 18 points (5-12 field goals, 2-6 on threes, 6-6 free throws) in the second half, along with three assists and three steals. He nearly played the whole game, as he registered 39 minutes of action.
Hardnett scored a season-high 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field, with two assists, two rebounds and two steals.
"I think that's a good sign for us that we can learn from games in the past when we've been behind and weren't able to come back," said Childs. "We were able to cut at the four, seven, and then not really get over that hump. So I think it was a good sign and we can learn from that, and keep pushing and pushing, and break through."
The keys for BYU in this one were that they had 10 steals, forced 14 UMass turnovers and shot 16-20 from the free-throw line.
Those were definitely the key to the victory, as they had to make up for another disappointing shooting day. They shot just 36.4 percent overall, or 24-66, and 22.2 percent behind the arc, or 4-18.
"I thought in the first half, we were not just focused with our effort," said Rose. "We were playing really hard when things were going good at the start of the game, and then things kind of went the other way, and I don't think that's acceptable. I think you can control your effort no matter if you're playing well, executing well, and that was the challenge. Obviously winning the game is so much better when learning things, but win or lose, I was pleased with how they focused their energy.
"They had great energy in the second half. You can tell by offensive rebounds — I think we had 18 or 19 offensive rebounds, 10 or 11 steals, five or six blocks. I mean, those are energy kind of plays that can win for you. So that's what I'm the most proud of these guys for."