How to Watch/Listen
- BYU Sports Network
- KSL 1160 AM / 102.7 FM
- BYU Radio - Sirius XM 143
McCarthey Athletic Center
801 N Cincinnati Spokane WA 99258
BYU upsets No. 1 Gonzaga on the road
SPOKANE, Wash. — For the first time in program history, BYU beat the No. 1 team in the nation with a 79-71 victory over Gonzaga Saturday night at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
“These players will remember this for a long time,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “We challenged Gonzaga in Provo, but we never really threatened to beat them. We got a chance to do it again knowing we could put pieces together to make runs on these guys and cause some issues. Our guys really believed in each other and believed this could happen.”
The key difference between BYU (21-10, 12-6 West Coast Conference) and Gonzaga (29-1, 17-1 WCC) was the 3-point shooting. The Cougars outshot the Bulldogs 38 percent to 19 percent from beyond the arc and hit nine compared to Gonzaga's three.
Eric Mika led all scorers with 29 points and 11 rebounds, notching a double-double. He surpassed 1,000 career points and recorded his 32nd-straight game scoring double figures. TJ Haws added 17 points while Elijah Bryant contributed 14.
Gonzaga took command early on, going on a 7-0 lead in the first three minutes and 18-2 at the 14:26 mark. The Bulldogs led by 15 points, 23-8, with 11:07 on the clock. BYU then responded with a 14-3 run to come within four points, 26-22, with 6:56 left in the half. Mika scored five-consecutive points on a free throw and two jumpers while Haws hit three-straight 3-pointers as part of the run.
A layup from Mika with 3:35 left reduced the Cougars’ deficit to one, 31-30. Gonzaga then went on a 10-5 run to take a 41-35 lead heading into halftime.
The Zags struck first to open the second half and increased their lead to eight, 43-35, and eventually 12 at 58-46. BYU answered Gonzaga’s baskets with six points from Mika and two 3-pointers from Nick Emery, sparking an offensive outburst. The Cougars went on a 15-2 run to take a 61-60 lead with 8:40 left in the game.
BYU maintained its composure and kept it a one-possession game. Haws sank a 3-pointer with 4:38 on the clock to even the score 67-67. The Bulldogs responded, but Bryant’s perfect trip to the charity stripe with 1:53 to go tied the game again, 71-71. Layups from Mika and Corbin Kaufusi gave the the Cougars a four-point lead, 75-71, with less than 20 seconds to go. Mika and Emery combined for 4 of 4 from the free-throw line to give BYU a 79-71 win.
The Cougars will now prepare for next week’s 2017 West Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Championships at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Mar. 2-7.
Regular season finale at No. 1/1 Gonzaga
BYU will conclude the 2016-17 regular season with a showdown at West Coast Conference foe No. 1/1 Gonzaga Saturday at 7:15 p.m. PST in the McCarthey Athletic Center. Saturday's game will be televised live on ESPN and broadcast live on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, 102.7 FM/1160 AM and BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143.
BYU has won the last two seasons at Gonzaga, including a 73-70 win in 2015 when the Bulldogs were ranked No. 3/2 and a 69-68 victory last season when Gonzaga was No. 25/21 in the polls.
Elijah Bryant had the best game of his college career Thursday when he hit 10 of 17 from the field, 7 of 12 from 3 and 12 of 12 from the free-throw line. Bryant also added five rebounds, six assists and one block.
Braiden Shaw made his first career start Thursday, filling in for an injured Yoeli Childs. Shaw played a career-best 26 minutes and set new career highs with 11 points and two assists while scoring four points.
Three Cougars earned WCC All-Academic honors this week. Eric Mika and Davin Guinn were named to the first team while Braiden Shaw earned honorable mention.
BYU Cougars (20-10, 11-6 WCC)
- Head Coach: Dave Rose
- Alma Mater: Houston, 1983
- Division I Career Record: 303-109 (12th)
- Record at BYU: Same
Gonzaga Bulldogs (29-0, 17-0 WCC)
- Head Coach: Mark Few
- Alma Mater: Oregon, 1987
- Career Record: 495-111 (18th)
- Record at Gonzaga: Same
- TV: ESPN
- TV Talent: Eric Rothman (play-by-play), Adrian Branch (analyst)
- Live Video: WatchESPN.com
- Radio: Cougar IMG Sports Network, 102.7 FM/1160 AM, BYU Radio, Sirius XM 143
- Radio Talent: Greg Wrubell (play-by-play), Mark Durrant (analyst)
- Live Stats: BYUcougars.com
Series Record: Gonzaga leads 12-5
Last Meeting: Gonzaga won 85-75, 2/2/17