PROVO, Utah — BYU felt fortunate to go into the locker room tied at 43 Saturday against Gonzaga, only to let the upset bid slip late in the second half.
Zag’s junior big man, Kyle Wiltjer took over with 9 ½ minutes left in the game. The junior scored 14 points by himself in a span of about 5 minutes to hold off the Cougars in the WCC opener for both teams, 87-80 at the Marriott Center.
The Bulldogs raced out to an advantage as high as 16 points in the first half. The Cougars only connected on one of their first 11 field-goal attempts, before shots finally stated falling to end the half. The rally ended with a buzzer beating three by Kyle Collinsworth to give the 2,100 hundred on hand in Provo something to scream about.
Brigham Young took their first lead of the game early in the second half and led for much of the first 9 minutes before it all fell apart. The Cougars did get within 80-77, but Tyler Haws missed a three to tie it.
Wiltjer led all scorers with 24. Collinsworth tallied a triple double of 11 boards, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the loss.