Pacific rolled to an 89-82 win over the Cougars at the Spanos Center in front of a split crowd of 4,058, all but ending BYU's hopes for an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. Pacific students stormed the court to celebrate the mild upset.
"They were just better tonight," BYU coach Dave Rose said.
Indeed, Pacific made 10 of 21 3-pointers, exposing BYU's inability to contain penetration, and outrebounded the foul-plagued Cougars 41-32 in improving to 5-8 in the West Coast Conference, 14-10 overall. BYU fell to 9-5 in league play, 17-10 overall, and out of second place in the league heading into Saturday's showdown at Saint Mary's, which took over that spot Thursday night with a win over San Diego.
"We just didn't stop what they like to do," said BYU's Tyler Haws, who fouled out for the first time in his career. "They hit big shot after big shot, and we didn't make them do anything differently."
The Tigers were 7 of 9 from 3-point range in the second half, when they outscored BYU 54-44 to exact revenge from an 88-78 loss in Provo two weeks ago.
"Some of them were tough shots, and some of them were open," said Matt Carlino of Pacific's 3-pointers. "We know those guys can hit shots, and we can't allow that to happen. That's on us."
Carlino scored 28 points off the bench and Haws added 20 for BYU, but it wasn't nearly enough. Haws was 6 of 16 from the field, his second-straight subpar shooting performance.
The Cougars were 23 of 33 from the free-throw line, missing seven of those in the first half when they were threatening to take control of the game.
Haws fouled out with 1:08 remaining, Pacific's public address announcer reminding the crowd three times he had been disqualified.
"I think what we have run into with a couple of teams is that they have played really well [at home]," Rose said. "That's what teams do, they play well at home. They play a little bit better."
And BYU doesn't match it on the road.
The Cougars shot 44.1 percent, and another season-long bugaboo foul trouble plagued it from almost the opening tip. Bigs Eric Mika and Nate Austin picked up two fouls apiece in the first half and spent considerable time on the bench. Mika had just four points and made just one field goal, with less than three minutes remaining.
Austin had just two points, on a steal and dunk with 2:01 left that trimmed a 16-point UP lead to 79-75.
But the Cougars struggled to score after that, or get stops.
"Sometimes we are on the same page, but other times we are not," Carlino said. "I think it is a consistency thing."
Really, the game got away from BYU midway through the second half.
The lead see-sawed the first eight minutes of the second half until UP's Aaron Short made back-to-back 3-pointers from the same spot in the corner to give the Tigers a 60-53 lead with 11:01 remaining.
Pacific increased its lead to nine before BYU chopped it to four. But the momentum was short-lived.
Trevin Harris and Tony Gill hit 3-pointers and Kahlil Kelley had an uncontested dunk to balloon the lead to 73-60.
With the crowd at full throat, the Cougars could never slow down the freight train.
"That's a big number double figure [3-pointers]," Rose said, staring at the stat sheet.
The Cougars led 38-35 at halftime, but were just 10 of 17 from the free-throw line in the first half when they had the chance to move out to a bigger lead.
With Haws struggling to find his shot and getting into foul trouble - he played just 14 minutes in the first half - Carlino rescued the Cougars offensively.
He scored 14 first-half points, going 4 of 6 from 3-point range. Haws had nine at the break.
The Cougars got off to a great start, taking a 9-0 lead in the first two minutes, then went icy cold.
Kyle Collinsworth ended the six-minute field goal drought, but by then Pacific had the lead, thanks to a 12-2 run.
The Cougars made their first seven free throws, then made just 3 of their next 10.
• ESPN announced that next week's Gonzaga at BYU game will be moved from 7 p.m. MST to 9 p.m. to accommodate the Duke-North Carolina schedule change. The BYU-Gonzaga game will be televised by ESPN2 instead of ESPN.
• Al Fredette and TJ Fredette, the father and older brother of Jimmer Fredette, attended Thursday night's game in Stockton, which is about an hour south of Sacramento. Jimmer Fredette scored a career-high 24 points in the Kings' 106-101 overtime win over the New York Knicks on Wednesday. The BYU men's volleyball team, which plays at Pacific on Friday night, attended Thursday's game as well.
• Carlino moved into 42nd place on BYU's all-time scoring list, passing Keena Young.