PROVO — Over the past couple of years, BYU guard TJ Haws has enjoyed some huge games against Gonzaga.
In the Cougars’ 68-60 loss at Gonzaga last month, he poured in 26 points while a year ago he had a career-high 29 points at home against the Bulldogs.
Haws suffered an ankle injury late in the game last Thursday at Portland and his status was uncertain going into Saturday’s game against No. 6 Gonzaga at the Marriott Center.
As it turned out, Haws played 32 minutes and scored six points to go along with three rebounds and two assists in a 79-65 setback to the Zags.
BYU assistant coach Tim LaComb said Haws didn’t have any ankle problems Saturday.
“He was fine. They really kind of keyed on him tonight,” said LaComb. “He’s had really good games against them. They were physical and knocked him off his spot and made it hard for him to get the ball and get open looks. Credit to them and their defense. That’s who they keyed on tonight.”
ROSE’S ILLNESS: LaComb spoke to the media after the game in place of Rose, who coached Saturday while dealing with an illness.
“He’s been battling kind of a stomach flu the past couple of days and was even sweating that he’d be able to make it to the game because he’s been really sick,” LaComb said. “As soon as the game was over, he took off.”
RESPECT FOR BRYANT, CHILDS: Gonzaga coach Mark Few feared big performance from BYU’s Elijah Bryant and Yoeli Childs.
Childs ended up scoring 19 points while Bryant added 16.
“Bryant’s so good when he gets going downhill, he’s a handful. He didn’t play as good up at our place, but I knew he was going to play good down here,” Few said. “Then we elected to play Yoeli one-on-one in there, which isn’t easy, he’s a stud. Him and (Johnathan Williams) kind of battled it out. I think he ended up taking some tough shots.”
LOVE FOR THE MARRIOTT CENTER: Few also praised the atmosphere at the Marriott Center, which was sold out Saturday.
“This building can really get rocking,” he said. “This is such a great college basketball environment. I felt like we kept the crowd and them at bay even though they made a couple good runs.”
NO SENIOR MOMENT: It was the regular-season home finale for BYU, but there were no pregame Senior Night festivities.
That’s because there’s not a single senior on the Cougar roster.
BYU has four juniors — Elijah Bryant, McKay Cannon, Braiden Shaw and Luke Worthington; plus eight sophomores — Jahshire Hardnett, Zac Seljaas, Ryan Andrus, Payton Dastrup, Evan Troy, Yoeli Childs, TJ Haws and Dalton Nixon. Rylan Bergersen and Kolby Lee are the only freshmen.
IN THE HOUSE: LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson was in attendance at Saturday’s game at the Marriott Center.