The Pacific Tigers pulled off a major upset of the BYU Cougars and may burst the NCAA Tournament bubble for BYU, by defeating the Cougars 89-82 on Thursday night. Five Tigers scored in double figures led by Tony Gill who scored 18 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Andrew Bock and Trevin Harris had 13 points and 4 assists each, while Khalil Kelley added 10 points and 9 rebounds. After being benched after the strong play of T.J. Wallace, Sama Taku responded with 9 points and 3 assists. Aaron Short also added 11 points off the bench.
Speaking of coming off the bench, Matt Carlino scored 28 points on 9/15 shooting and 4 assists. Tyler Haws scored 20 points, Skyler Halford scored 14 points, and Kyle Collinsworth scored 10, points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and 5 assists in the losing effort.
Once again, BYU’s defense failed them as they let Pacific get anything they wanted on offense in the second half. The Cougars have yet to realize that defense is the key to their success in the WCC.
KEYS TO THE GAME
✓ – Backcourt Production: Andrew Bock, Sama Taku, and Trevin Harris all played good games, and while they did not score as much as BYU’s guards, they combined for 11 assists and were able to get the big men involved, something the Cougars were not able to do.
X – Keep the bigs out of foul trouble: Eric Mika and Nate Austin picked up 4 fouls each in this game and were therefore limited, both in their own offensive games and defending Pacific’s big men, who went to town against them.
Eric Mika vs. Tony Gill: This matchup was squarely won by Gill who had 18 points and 7 rebounds while Mika had only 4 points and 3 rebounds. Therefore, it is not surprising that BYU didn’t win the game. Eric Mika is their only scoring option in the post and if he doesn’t play well, BYU won’t have success.
Pacific got an excellent win against a high-octane offense and will have momentum going into their contest against San Diego on Saturday at home. They have many more offensive options than San Diego, so the Tigers have a legitimate shot at sweeping this weekend homestand.
BYU’s NCAA Tournament aspirations are in serious jeopardy after a loss that the selection committee will frown upon. Things do not get any easier for the Cougars as they travel to second place Saint Mary’s on Saturday. Matthew Dellavedova‘s jersey will be retired, so expect McKeon Pavilion will be rocking.