BYU overcomes poor shooting, holds off TCU 61-54
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP)—Jonathan Tavernari scored 17 points as BYU overcame a poor shooting performance to beat TCU 61-54 Saturday night.
BYU (25-6, 14-2) set a school record for most regular-season wins in a season and became the first Mountain West team to win 14 games in conference play.
The Cougars shot 35 percent from the floor and lost a 10-point halftime lead. But the Horned Frogs hit just one field goal in the final 9:18—a 3-pointer from Jason Ebie with 1.6 seconds left.
Lee Cummard had 16 points and eight rebounds and Sam Burgess scored 13 to give BYU its 13th win in 14 games.
TCU (14-15, 6-10) has lost five of seven games. For the sixth time in seven seasons, the Horned Frogs finished with a losing record in conference play.
Ryan Wall scored 15 points and Brent Hackett chipped in with 11 for the Horned Frogs
The Cougars open the Mountain West Tournament as the No. 1 seed and will play either Wyoming or Colorado State in their first game Thursday. TCU is the No. 7 seed and will play UNLV.
Keion Mitchem connected on a 3-pointer that put TCU on top 46-44 with 9:18 remaining. But the Cougars went on an 11-1 run over the next six minutes to take control.
The Cougars hit 6-of-8 free throws in the surge, and Cummard’s 3-pointer put BYU ahead 55-47 with 3:36 left.
BYU led 32-22 at halftime, but the Horned Frogs scored the first nine points of the second half to get within one. Hackett scored seven points in the run.
Mitchem’s 3-pointer gave TCU its last lead of the game. The Horned Frogs then missed their next 11 shots.
TCU scored only 36 points and shot 24 percent in a loss to Air Force on Wednesday.
The Horned Frogs took a 9-5 lead in the game’s first five minutes. The Cougars went on a 10-0 run over the next four minutes to take the lead.
Tavernari’s 3-pointer with 1:23 left in the first half put BYU up by 10 heading into the locker room.