December 20, 2008David
It was truly a sad afternoon. BYU controlled most of this game, and then simply let it slip away in the end. Tavernari should have taken that one more second he had to attack the basket, and maybe draw a foul rather than just throwing up a crap shot, but there is no way he could have known he still had that much time. He did the best he could given the circumstances.
What most people will probably focus on was the final tip and whether it was a basket or not. It really could have gone either way. I don’t think the refs could have made a bad call because it was truly that close.
The fact that it was that close meant BYU would lose though as the refs were definitely favoring Arizona St. in small degrees. I don’t think for a second that the refs singlehandedly cost BYU the game, because BYU still maintained control right up until the last couple of minutes, and then simply gave it away.
The biggest positive that I saw in this game was the great defense that they played. The aforementioned poor officiating cost BYU a couple of fouls, but the defensive effort was definitely there in this game. Miles put up a huge defensive effort this afternoon. I can’t remember the last time I saw a big man so consistently move his feet, keep his hands straight up, and put himself in good defensive position. There were numerous occassions he left his man with no other option but to kick it back out.
While they absolutely could have, and should have, won this game, Arizona St. was the toughest test so far this year, and in all reality it was a home game for them. BYU played a good game, but simply did not have enough in the end. There are lessons to be learned and hopefully they will be the better for it in the long run.