It came down to getting the ball up in time. I was just trying to shoot it and be able hopefully see if it’s before the buzzer went off. —BYU guard Zac Seljaas
STOCKTON, Calif. — A week earlier at home against Saint Mary’s, BYU guard Zac Seljaas shot a 3-pointer that fell short at the buzzer to force overtime. The Gaels ended up beating the Cougars.
Saturday night at the Spanos Center, Seljaas hit a 2-pointer as time was running out. But officials ruled that it came just after the final buzzer as BYU lost to Pacific 67-66.
After Tiger forward Jack Williams missed a pair of free throws with 14.3 seconds remaining, BYU trailed by one point as it tried to set up for a potential game-winning shot.
Cougar guard Jahshire Hardnett drove to the hoop and missed a shot. As Yoeli Childs tried to grab the rebound, the ball got away from him and into the hands of Kendall Small. While the final seconds ticked off the clock, Seljaas stole Small's pass and hoisted a shot that hit the bottom of the net.
“It came down to getting the ball up in time,” Seljaas said. “I was just trying to shoot it and be able hopefully see if it’s before the buzzer went off.”
The officials ruled on the court that the shot was made too late, which was confirmed moments later after an official review.
What play was coach Dave Rose looking for on that final sequence?
“If it was two points or less, you want to take that thing right to the glass and try to get fouled,” he said. “We got a decent shot that could have gone in and won the game. The rebound went off our hands. You put yourself in those situations and it’s not a guarantee that you’ll be able to make that play late in the game.”
HARDNETT’S IMPACT: Though Hardnett missed a potential game-winner Saturday, he has been a key contributor this season on both ends of the floor.
“Defensively, he gives us a great lift in our ability to get that ball stopped. Transition hasn’t really hurt us because of how he handles conversion,” Rose said. “His ability to make plays is starting to decrease a little bit as film gets out. As we spread the floor and allow him to do a few more things, he’ll continue to get better.”
Hardnett played a career-high 34 minutes and scored a career-high 11 points last Thursday at San Francisco. He knocked down 4 of 4 shots from the floor and 3 of 4 from the free-throw line. The sophomore also had two assists, two steals and zero turnovers.
Hardnett scored six points and grabbed five rebounds and had two assists against Pacific.
BYU IN THE BAY AREA: BYU defeated San Francisco last Thursday, 69-59, to improve to 7-0 at War Memorial Gym since joining the West Coast Conference in 2011-12.
The Cougars are 3-2 at Pacific’s Spanos Center since the Tigers joined the WCC in 2013-14.