What a frustrating, disappointing loss last night. I knew it would be a tough game, and I also knew that BYU probably wouldn't go through its conference schedule undefeated, but losing last night still hurts. Especially when we had a chance to win.
When Jimmer hit a long three with three minutes left to play to put us up 64-62, I thought we'd hold on to win for sure. I thought we'd close it out and party all night in the streets of Albuquerque.
But the Lobos demonstrated admirable resiliency. They answered our shot with a 2-and-1, and then a quick three-ball to put the Lobos up four again. And we never came back after that.
Jackson Emery was a disaster last night. He couldn't hit anything. I'm confident he'll break out of his shooting slump soon (probably Saturday), but it was hard to watch one of my favorite players lay so many bricks.
And Emery's shot wasn't the only thing that was missing in action. Chris Miles and Brandon Davies were complete non-factors last night. Miles missed some great looks down low, and Davies couldn't do anything but foul.
Probably the biggest reason we lost, though, was our inability to rebound. We consistently gave New Mexico two, three, sometimes four chances on the offensive end. You just can't let good teams like New Mexico have multiple shots at the rim. It hurt BYU last night, and it'll hurt them again if they don't learn how to box out and grab boards.
A couple of silver linings: Jimmer Fredette is back and better than ever. He played great last night, as did Jonathan Tavernari. In fact, JT didn't get enough shots, in my opinion.
Charles Abouo also played well. He has done a great job in the last two games of being a force on the glass. He hustles after rebounds and he's a physical defender. I'm glad he got a lot of time last night.
Like I said, tough loss. It was a shot to prove we belong in the top ten, but right now I think we're better suited to the 15-20 range. We'll still win the MWC regular season championship, and we should still get a pretty good seed in the NCAA tournament, but it's not quite the lock it would have been had we won.
I just hope the team learned a bit from the loss, and I hope we can win our final big road test at UNLV on February 6.