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USF squanders late lead, falls in overtime to BYU

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Souley Boum searches for space against BYU on Saturday. (Courtesy Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

A six-point lead with 39 seconds remaining wasn’t enough for the San Francisco Dons as the Brigham Young Cougars tied the game in the final seconds and went on to win in overtime on a pair of T.J. Haws free throws with 4.3 seconds left in overtime, 75-73.

BYU tied the game with 5.1 seconds left in regulation on Elijah Bryant’s 3-pointer after San Francisco (14-13, 6-8 WCC) not only led 63-57 with 31.2 seconds left, but had Jimbo Lull at the line with a chance to make it a three-possession game. He missed both attempts, and Yoeli Childs cut the deficit to four on the following possession. BYU (20-7, 9-5) tried to foul on the ensuing inbound, but no foul was whistled, and the Cougars eventually stripped the ball loose and got a layup plus a foul. The Dons beat the press on the following possession and got a layup from Souley Boum with 11.2 seconds left, which left more than enough time for Bryant to tie the game.

The Dons led by as much as four in overtime at 69-65 and took a 72-69 lead on Frankie Ferrari’s three with 2:16 left, but BYU tied the game at 73 with four points from T.J. Haws, who scored eight of his game-high 26 in the extra period.

A turnover with 25 seconds left gave the host Cougars a chance to play for the final shot in OT, but Haws was fouled roughly 30 feet from the basket with 4.3 seconds left, one of many calls on the day that drew the ire of head coach Kyle Smith and the San Francisco bench. BYU spent the final 12-and-a-half minutes of the second half in the bonus and was in the double bonus with 8:09 remaining.

Despite the foul differential in the second half, USF hung tough the entire way, with Souley Boum scoring 21 points and Ferrari adding 16. However, as a team, they shot just 8-for-30 from 3-point range and 11-of-18 at the line, with Lull’s two late misses looming large. The bench outscored BYU’s 37-7, but three San Francisco starters were held under five points. Chase Foster, the lone senior on the roster, scored only three, splitting a pair from the line with 48.9 left. It would turn out to be the last time USF scored.

The Dons will have a chance to channel their frustrations at home on Thursday against No. 11 Saint Mary’s. Tip off is scheduled for 8 p.m.

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