In 2015 the Zags were ranked 3rd in the nation. BYU didn’t care. Last year they were 25th in the nation. BYU still didn’t care. This year the Zags were undefeated going into their final regular season game and could finish that way if they beat the Brigham Young University Cougars. What was the 3rd team in the WCC’s reaction?
You guessed right. BYU didn’t care. They beat the top team in the nation 79-71.
BYU hasn’t had success against the Zags in Provo or in the WCC tournament in Las Vegas but the Cougars own the Zags more than any other team in their conference. Since BYU entered the west coast conference they have won 4 times in the state of Washington. That ties the number of wins all the other conference teams combined have gotten over a Gonzaga team that made it big in the 1980s with guy named John Stockton. Cougar fans who like the nearby Utah Jazz are very familiar with this prolific point guard who guided them to two Western Conference championships two decades ago.
Nigel Williams-Goss was fighting to keep his team’s undefeated hopes alive. Haws made clutch shots to make sure that senior night got spoiled again in Spokane.
While Haws was very clutch in the 4th quarter, Eric Mika carried the bulk of the scoring load by netting 29 points.
It was a close game down the stretch but BYU got open and made some shots.
Perhaps the BYU freshmen should go pitch their tents in Spokane and watch the game there. Their several days of camping on campus to get the coveted tickets didn’t help when the Zags thwarted BYU earlier this month in Provo.
The WCC tournament is just around the corner. While BYU isn’t going to win the spread in the Vegas books as the favorites, you can bet Cougar fans will be betting with gummy worms (or whatever the Honor Code allows) with the Gonzaga fans in Sin City.
One thing that is for certain is that the young team full of all-stars from Alpine Utah can play terrific basketball against even the best team in the nation on the road.
If the Cougars can match this intensity against easier teams like Pepperdine and Santa Clara then they’ll be in good shape for the years to come.