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Gonzaga Basketball

Gonzaga-BYU: 3 keys to the Cougars’ 79-71 win

BYU forward Eric Mika celebrates a basket against Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski, Feb. 25, 2017, in the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

The No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs lost to the BYU Cougars 79-71 on Saturday at the McCarthey Atheltic Center in Spokane. Here are the three keys to the Cougars’ win:

Key moment

BYU’s Eric Mika had just given the Cougars a two-point lead with 1 minute remaining and Gonzaga was in need of a basket to preserve its hopes of finishing the regular season unbeaten. But on Gonzaga’s next possession, BYU guard Elijah Bryant stole the ball from Josh Perkins to decrease the Zags’ chances at a comeback.

Offensive player of the game

Mika led the Cougars offensively with 29 points. Mika broke the final tie with a jumper in the final minute and capped off any hope from the Zags with his final two makes at the line.

Defensive player of the game

Bryant had three steals for BYU, including one in the final minute of the game when Gonzaga was only down two points.