Brigham Young guard Tyler Haws was so hot in the second half that he scored during a timeout.
By BLAIR KERKHOFF
The Kansas City Star
Every point was needed in the Cougars’ hard-fought 86-82 victory over Texas in the CBE Classic semifinal on Monday at the Sprint Center, including the shot that was changed from a two- to a three-pointer for Haws during a media timeout with 7:40 remaining.
Haws scored 23 of his 25 points in the second half, with none bigger than his runner from the baseline with the shot clock buzzing with the ball in the air.
The Cougars looked trapped in the corner, with the ball in center Eric Mika’s hands. He was in no position to shoot.
“Time was running down and Eric was in the corner,” Haws said. “He was acting like he wanted me to come for a little handoff. I’ve shot that shot sometimes in Horse after practice.”
Haws took the short pass behind Mika and never stopped moving when he put up the shot that swished with 40 seconds remaining, giving BYU an 83-80 lead.
Texas coach Rick Barnes had told his guys that Haws, a 6-5 junior who entered the game with a 26.3-point average, was capable of scoring flurries. In the second half, nobody could do much with Haws, who scored the Cougars’ final seven points.
After Haws’ runner, Texas got an offensive-rebound bucket from Jonathan Holmes —the Longhorns made a living on the offensive glass, with 24 second-chance points. And after Haws buried two free throws with 14.5 seconds remaining, Texas looked for a game-tying shot.
Freshman Damarcus Croaker came off a screen and launched a deep three that didn’t fall.
“It was a good look,” Texas guard Javan Felix said. “It just didn’t fall.”
That was the Longhorns’ last gasp in a game that could have gone either way. There were 21 lead changes and 18 ties.
BYU played zone the entire game to counter Texas’ athleticism, and that left the Cougars vulnerable inside. The Longhorns took advantage, winning the board battle 47-40, and center Cameron Ridley swatted away six shots.
Texas didn’t get enough from the perimeter, hitting six of 24 three-pointers to BYU’s 10 of 12, and the Longhorns fell for the first time. But this team appears to be in better shape than last year’s team that missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in Barnes’ 14 years in Austin.
“We’re going to be a good team,” Barnes said.
To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BlairKerkhoff.