They tried doing it to Gonzaga two weeks ago, then nearly did it to Saint Mary's last week. Today against BYU the Tigers managed to execute their make-it-ugly style of play for a full 40 minutes, and they pulled off the WCC's biggest upset so far this season.
A 33.9% shooting performance (23.3% FG in the second half) wasn't enough to get it done against a team that managed just 43 points on Thursday against ninth place San Diego. Speaking of Thursday, the Cougars (17-8, 8-4) took down No. 25 Saint Mary's on Thursday. That makes this BYU's second week of defeating a ranked team on Thursday before falling to a sub-200 RPI team on Saturday.
BYU defeated then No. 25 Gonzaga on January 14th in Spokane before falling to Portland two days later.
Pacific's defensive effort stifled the fast-paced Cougars, who still managed to run 75 possessions, and allowed the Tigers ( to scoot by with an unimpressive 41.5% performance from the field. Alec Kobre had another big game, knocking down three shots from long range and pouring in 17 points.
Chase Fischer led all scorers with 23 points, but the BYU marksman just couldn't get it going from the field.
Fischer scored 14 of his points from the free throw line (where he did not miss), but ten of those came in the final minute. The normally prolific shooting duo of Fischer and Nick Emery (13 points) went a combined eight of 29 from the field. Emery was 0-6 from three and Fischer just 3-9.
With the starters not finding a rhythm it didn't help that the Cougars' bench provided a whopping zero points.
Interim head coach Mike Burns is fast making a case for the full time job. Pacific, since joining the WCC in 2013, is a program used to the cellar. So, Thursday's ugly loss at fellow cellar dweller San Diego was no surprise. This isn't a program that is used to winning against the WCC's big three. They've yet to beat Gonzaga or Saint Mary's and had only defeated BYU once before today. This season they have nearly taken down all three Goliaths.
With four losses on the season BYU is now two games behind both Gonzaga and Saint Mary's in the hunt for their first regular season West Coast Conference title.