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BYU basketball: Cougars falter in second half, lose to Oregon at NCAA tourney

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The BYU Cougars are officially out of the NCAA Tournament just as quickly as they entered -- after losing a lopsided 86-67 second round game to the Oregon Ducks on Thursday, March 20 in Milwaukee.

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The Cougars (23-12) end their season leaving more questions unanswered -- as the national media’s prediction that BYU wasn’t tournament-ready seemed to resurface Thursday at the Harris Bradley Center.

An eight-point deficit for BYU at halftime quickly ballooned to 15 after the break. BYU even got the Oregon lead to within three at 56-53 with just 12 minutes to play.

But that’s where the dream ended at this March Madness for BYU -- as Oregon called a time-out and went on a 30-9 explosion in the next nine minutes.

"We had the momentum [going into the timeout], but they got revved up," BYU guard Matt Carlino said at the post-game press conference. "Their coaches probably told them what they needed to do to stop us, and they did."

Tyler Haws led BYU with 19 points -- but had to take 18 shots to get to that total, making just 7 of them.

Freshman center Eric Mika had 15 points to help Haws but he too had problems getting his shot right, scoring 11 of those points on free throws.

Along with his teammates, Mika was looking for a way to ease the scoring burden placed on BYU when forward Kyle Collinsworth got hurt.

But a poor shooting night by all hurt BYU in more ways than one.

"We shot 33 percent from the field, and we are a much better shooting team than that," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "You have to give Oregon a lot of credit for how they contested our shots."

As for BYU, the national media leaves Milwaukee thinking what they thought before; that the Cougars were over-rated and over-seeded -- and didn’t belong here in the first place.



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