Brigham Young could have folded after a first half in which it shot just 25 percent and trailed No. 10 Gonzaga by 19 points.
However, the Cougars recovered their composure, and their shooting touch, to play even in the second half of the 83-63 loss on Thursday night
''We were struggling and they were kind of dominating us,'' BYU coach Dave Rose said. ''The fact that they stayed in there, hung in there, they fought and we played the second half a lot better than the first half.
''Hopefully we can build on that and move forward,'' Rose said.
Kelly Olynyk was nearly perfect for Gonzaga, scoring 26 points on 9-for-9 shooting from the field and 8-for-8 on free throws. He also had nine rebounds and five assists to help the Bulldogs (18-2, 5-0) win the showdown for first place in the West Coast Conference.
''If I can get the ball in the center of the zone, it's hard for a defense,'' Olynyk said. ''The guards were feeding me and we made great plays.''
But there was another player Olyn...