Eric Mika had 29 points and 11 rebounds to help Brigham Young upset No. 1 Gonzaga 79-71 in the West Coast Conference regular-season finale for both teams. The Zags fell to 29-1.
SPOKANE – Eric Mika contributed 29 points and 11 rebounds to help Brigham Young upset No. 1 Gonzaga 79-71 on Saturday night, handing the Zags their first loss in the final regular-season basketball game for both teams.
Nigel Williams-Goss, a transfer from Washington, scored 19 points for Gonzaga (29-1 overall, 17-1 West Coast Conference), which was seeking to become the first team since Kentucky in 2014-15 to finish the regular season without a loss.
Mika’s basket with 1:05 left gave BYU (21-10, 12-6) a 73-71 lead.
Gonzaga lost the ball on its next two possessions, and Corbin Kaufusi had a put-back and Mika made two free throws to put the game out of reach.
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The Zags didn’t trail in the second half of their previous 15 games.
“They haven’t had anyone have a lead on them in the second half for quite awhile,” BYU coach Dave Rose said. “I thought that would be a really big emotional thing for us, and an emotional thing for them to have to respond.
“You beat the No. 1 team on the road the last weekend of the season, it’s good for a lot of reasons.”
The last men’s team to finish an entire season — including the NCAA tournament — undefeated was Indiana in 1975-76.
Gonzaga came out fired up and jumped to an 18-2 lead in the first five minutes.
Zach Collins’ put-back gave Gonzaga a 58-46 lead in the second half.
A technical foul on Gonzaga helped BYU cut its deficit to 58-53, and seemed to spark the Cougars. A pair of three-pointers by Nick Emery cut Gonzaga’s lead to one, and Mika’s basket gave the Cougars their first lead at 61-60. The teams traded baskets until Mika put BYU ahead for good.
“Obviously, it didn’t go as we hoped,” Zags coach Mark Few said….