PROVO, Utah – Yoeli Childs scored 28 points to help No. 23 Brigham Young upset second-ranked Gonzaga 91-78 on Saturday night and end the Zags’ 19-game winning streak.
Jake Toolson added 17 points and T.J. Haws had 16 points. BYU (23-7 overall, 12-3 West Coast Conference) never trailed after halftime en route to winning its eighth straight game.
Killian Tillie scored 18 points and Corey Kispert added 16 to lead the Zags. Filip Petrusev added 14 points and Admon Gilder chipped in 13. Gonzaga (27-2, 13-1) won the previous five meetings in Provo before Saturday.
Gonzaga trailed by 14 points early in the second half before mounting a comeback. The Zags cut the deficit to 70-68 on a jumper from Drew Timme with 7:52 remaining.
“They came after us with their offense,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “They came after us with their defense, physically taking the ball from us. We didn’t deserve to win.”
BYU did not let Gonzaga erase the lead entirely.
Zac Seljaas made back-to-back baskets to give the Cougars a little breathing room again. Then Childs bookended a string of four straight BYU baskets with a layup and a jumper to put the Cougars up 87-76 with 3:15 left.
BYU got a big lift from Childs in the first half. The senior forward crashed the boards and made several critical baskets to provide a much-needed spark for the Cougars on offense.
Childs capped a 13-4 run that gave BYU a 21-18 lead with back-to-back baskets. Gonzaga briefly regained a 25-24 lead on back-to-back baskets from Kispert and Petrusev. The Cougars surged back ahead before halftime thanks to Childs.
He accounted for three buckets on a run of five straight possessions that ended in baskets for BYU. It helped the Cougars claw out a 38-32 lead.
Gonzaga struggled to keep pace with BYU after going without a field goal over the final 4:36 of the first half.
The Cougars kept building on their momentum early in the second half. Three-pointers from Kolby Lee and Toolson highlighted a run of four straight baskets that put BYU up 58-44.
“They were tougher,” Petrusev said of the Cougars. “We let them outplay us. They were just a tougher team and they beat us.”
A victory over a Gonzaga team that spent part of the season ranked No. 1 overall might go a long way to helping the Cougars lock up an NCAA tournament bid in March.
“Gonzaga is a great team,” Childs said. “They made their runs and they had great players out there making great plays, but nothing they did slowed us down.
“It gets me really excited for the future.”
Gonzaga women win on the road
MALIBU, Calif. – Jill Townsend scored 12 of her 13 points in a game-changing third quarter to propel the 13th-ranked Gonzaga women’s basketball team to a 64-50 victory over Pepperdine.
Townsend, who is from Okanogan, missed her only two shots in the first half when she picked up two fouls. She helped the Zags (27-2 overall, 16-1 West Coast Conference) break away from a 26-23 lead at intermission with a 23-9 surge in the third quarter.
This was the 16th time this season Gonzaga, which beat the Waves 70-36 in the first meeting, allowed no more than 50 points.
Melody Kempton added 12 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Zags, Jessie Loera of Moses Lake added 10 points and Jenn Wirth grabbed 10 rebounds.
Townsend made her first basket on Gonzaga’s first possession in the third quarter and picked up her third foul 21 seconds later. She stayed in the game and had another inside basket before her personal 8-0 run late in the quarter. Townsend, who fouled out with 2:02 to play, had a pair of threes and a layup. Kempton’s layup in the closing seconds of the quarter made the score 49-32. Gonzaga, which shot 40% overall, was 10 of 21 in the third quarter.
Monique Andriuolo and Hannah Friend had 10 points each for Pepperdine (14-12, 8-8)
“Today was a great road win,” Zags coach Lisa Fortier said. “We had stretches in the game where we were really good offensively and where we were really good defensively. During the third quarter, we put them both together and that was the difference in the game.”