PROVO — When he was summoned into the game early in the second half against No. 10 New Mexico, BYU guard Michael Loyd Jr., was so surprised that he was in the middle of chewing on a candy bar.

Loyd, his mouth full of chocolate, quickly stood up from his comfortable seat on the bench, dropped the candy bar on the floor and hustled down to the scorer's table to check into the contest, his jaws chomping furiously.

What Loyd did from there surprised most of those who watched what unfolded, though the end result didn't have the sweet ending the sellout crowd of 22,644 at the Marriott Center was craving as the No. 13 Cougars fell to the Lobos, 83-81, Saturday afternoon.

The sophomore from Las Vegas scored a career- and team-high 19 points — all in the second half — and hit 8 of 9 shots from the field.

In fact, Loyd pulled off a pretty good Jimmer Fredette impersonation.

Loyd replaced Fredette, who played a total of just 16 minutes, and just one minute in the second half, because of a stomach ailment.

"Coach made a sub and we just rolled with it," said Loyd, who entered Saturday's contest averaging a modest 3.4 points per game.

"I felt like we needed more energy at that position," explained BYU coach Dave Rose. "Mike did a great job."

The Cougars trailed the Lobos by 10 when Loyd went into the game, and he sparked a 12-1 run that saw BYU capture a 47-46 advantage. Throughout the second half, Loyd was everywhere: engineering the offense; grabbing rebounds; dishing assists; driving to the hoop on a dunk; knocking down a turnaround jumper; hitting a 3-pointer; going coast-to-coast on a layup.

"I just try to push the ball the best I can," he said.

Loyd did everything he could to be like Jimmer, BYU's leading scorer and a leading candidate for Mountain West Conference player-of-the-year honors.

But with Fredette unavailable, all Loyd really had to do was be like Mike. Mike Loyd, that is.

"He played like he plays — on attack, playing with confidence," Rose said of Loyd. "Mike's a really good player."

BYU tied the score, 80-80, on a Loyd dunk with 52 seconds left. However, as it turned out, that was the Cougars' final field goal of the game.

With 10 seconds remaining, the Cougars trailed 83-81 with a chance to win or tie the game. Loyd charged toward the paint and, instead of trying to score, he passed the ball inside to Noah Hartsock.

Hartsock's shot was blocked by Darington Hobson with two seconds left.

"If I had to do it again, I'd get the ball to Noah," said Loyd.

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But a bit later, he modified that statement. Loyd said that if he were put in that situation again — with a chance to score the game-winning basket — he would "seize the moment."

All in all, though, Loyd seized the moment in the second half against New Mexico. He proved once again how deep the Cougars are this season.

"I showed that I can compete," said Loyd. "Hopefully, I can keep it up."


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