Josh Carter | Posted: 9 Jan 2020 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Cougars drop overtime thriller to Saint Mary’s 87-84

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Jake Toolson shoots a 3-pointer against Nevada.

MORAGA, Calif. — The BYU men’s basketball team fell in overtime 87-84 to Saint Mary’s at University Credit Union Pavilion Thursday night.

BYU at Saint Mary’s Box Score

“I’m really proud of our guys,” BYU head coach Mark Pope said. “They’re fighting, they’re working and they’re getting better. They’re trying to digest everything that we ask them to do. They came out here and battled courageously and didn’t go away.”

TJ Haws led all scorers with 29 points on 11 of 24 shooting to go along with two rebounds, two assists and two steals. Jake Toolson added 24 points, shooting nine of 19 from the floor while also recording four rebounds and two assists. Kolby Lee added nine points and six rebounds and Dalton Nixon chipped in eight points and six rebounds.

The Cougars (12-5, 1-1 WCC), playing without senior forward Yoeli Childs due to a finger injury, shot 47.8 percent from the field on the night compared to the Gaels’ (15-3, 2-1 WCC) 46.8 percent.

With Saint Mary’s leading 76-70 with 50 seconds left in regulation, Toolson hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to bring BYU within three, 76-73. The Cougar defense then forced a Gael turnover in the backcourt and Haws proceeded to hit a pull up jumper to cut BYU’s deficit to one, 76-75, with 18 seconds left.

Saint Mary’s then made one of two free throws after a Cougar foul to bring the score to 77-75 with 15 seconds remaining. On BYU’s following offensive possession, Haws lost his defender with a crossover move and drove to the basket for an uncontested dunk to tie the game at 77 with seven seconds left in regulation.

Nixon blocked a potential game-winning shot by the Gaels’ Jordan Ford and Tanner Krebs missed a shot from the top of the key as time expired, sending the game into overtime.

Toolson opened the overtime period with a turnaround jump shot to put the Cougars up 79-77. However, two Saint Mary’s free throws and a driving layup after a BYU turnover then gave the Gaels an 81-79 lead with 2:29 remaining.

A contested driving layup by Haws with 1:32 left in overtime tied the game back up at 81. Two Saint Mary’s free throws then gave Saint Mary’s an 83-81 advantage with 36 seconds remaining. After a missed Barcello trey, a Cougar foul sent the Gaels back to the free-throw line where they converted both attempts to go up 85-81.

Haws proceeded to hit a deep 3-pointer from the right wing with 13 seconds left to bring BYU within a single point, 85-84. Another Cougar foul sent Saint Mary’s to the foul line, and the Gaels made both attempts to go up by three, 87-84.

Haws launched one final three-point attempt before time expired but the ball rimmed out, and Saint Mary’s came away with the 87-84 win.

Saint Mary’s opened the game on a 5-0 run, but a layup by Kolby Lee followed by midrange jumpers by Barcello and Haws brought BYU within one, 7-6, four minutes into the contest. Barcello then found Seljaas under the basket for a wide-open layup and Toolson laid a contested shot in to put the score at 11-10 for the Gaels.

A pair of free throws by Toolson followed by a Lee 3-pointer and a reverse layup by Toolson gave the Cougars a 17-15 lead. Teams then traded baskets back and forth until back-to-back triples by Seljaas and Barcello tied the game at 31 with 2:30 left in the half.

On BYU’s ensuing offensive possession, Haws flipped a pass behind his head to a cutting Nixon who made a layup while being fouled. Nixon made the following free throw to complete the three-point play and tie the game at 34 with 1:21 remaining until the break. Saint Mary’s hit a 3-pointer just before the end of the half to take a 37-34 advantage into the locker room.

The Cougars shot 41.4 percent from the floor during the first 20 minutes compared to the Gaels’ 48.3 percent. Seljaas scored a team-high seven points in the first half while Toolson and Haws each had six.

After Lee opened the second-half scoring with a put back lay-in, Toolson made a driving layup and Haws hit a jumper to tie the game at 40. Saint Mary’s responded with a 6-0 run, but consecutive baskets in the paint by Toolson brought BYU within two, 46-44, just over four minutes into the second half.

A lay-in by Haws followed by a basket down low by Lee and a turnaround jumper by Toolson put the score at 52-50 for the Gaels with 12:41 remaining. A 9-5 Saint Mary’s run then gave the Gaels a 61-55 advantage midway through the second half.

Toolson hit a shot in the paint and Haws made a layup after a driving spin move to bring the Cougars back within two, 61-59, with 7:55 left. After Barcello made a layup, Saint Mary’s went on an 8-1 run to go up 71-62 with just over four minutes remaining.

Four consecutive free throws brought BYU within five, 71-66, with 2:50 left. Two more free throws by Haws brought the Cougars within three, but a Gaels three-point play put Saint Mary’s up by six, 74-68.

Despite coming back and tying the game at the end of regulation, BYU fell short to the Gaels in overtime 87-84.

The Cougars return to the Marriott Center on Saturday, Jan. 11, to take on Portland at 7:30 p.m. MST. The game will be televised on BYUtv and radio broadcasts will be available on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM. Tickets can be purchased on

Postgame Notes

  • TJ Haws scored a season-high 29 points against Saint Mary’s on 11 of 24 shooting from the field and 6 of 7 shooting from the free-throw line. He added two rebounds, two assists and two steals. It marked Haws’ second game this season with 20-plus points and the 23rd of his career.
  • Jake Toolson scored 24 points on 9 of 19 shooting from the field and 5 of 6 shooting from the free-throw line. He added four points and two assists. Toolson has scored 20-plus five time this season.
  • In the absence of Yoeli Childs, Kolby Lee returned to the starting lineup and scored nine points on 4 of 4 shooting from the field while adding six rebounds.

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