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Provo • It was a case of what might have been for the BYU Cougars last season when center Brandon Davies was banned from playing for an honor code violation five games before their Sweet 16 run in the NCAA Tournament.
It was sort of like that Saturday afternoon, to a much lesser extent, as Davies found himself with the ball in his hands outside the 3-point line and the Cougars needing a 3-pointer with time running out to send the game with Baylor into overtime.
Davies couldn't get the shot off however, as Baylor's 5-foot-10 Pierre Jackson knocked the ball away from the side, and the No. 6 Bears escaped with an 86-83 win in front of 22,700 fans at the Marriott Center.
"I had no doubt in my mind that that was going in if I would have gotten the shot off," Davies said. "But they made a great defensive play. You got to give them a lot of credit for that."
And so ended one of Davies' better performances of the season. He recorded a double-double 18 points and 13 rebounds and stayed out of foul trouble long enough to play a season-high 36 minutes.
"I had no idea where he came from. I didn't see him at all," Davies said. "The clock was winding down, obviously. I could have made the better play, but unfortunately we couldn't get the shot off, and we came up with the loss."
Near the other locker room, Jackson, a transfer from the College of Southern Idaho, said he just happened to be in the right place at the right time after BYU's Charles Abouo rebounded a missed free throw with eight seconds remaining, sprinted upcourt and dished the ball off to Davies, standing alone a few feet outside the arc.
"He tried to get it up with the time running down, and I was the closest to him, so I tried to jump my highest and get it," Jackson said. "I jumped from the side, because his release is kind of from the side, and I was able to block it."
Jackson made a huge difference off the bench in other ways, too, scoring 13 points and registering seven assists.
The Cougars had two timeouts left after A.J. Walton missed the front end of a one-and-one, but coach Dave Rose said he thought they would have a better opportunity to score in transition than after a timeout.
"Well, the play that we had called, we were going to race it up and try to get it to our guard popping out for a little 3-point shot," Rose said. "I thought we had a better opportunity in transition to get that shot off than if we call a timeout and give their five a shot at our five.
"What happened was we kinda got out of kilter. We couldn't get the hand-off where we wanted, and we got the ball to Brandon, who is not our best 3-point shooter, and they made a nice play on it."