STANFORD, Calif. — BYU forward Payton Dastrup emerged from the locker room after an 86-83 National Invitation Tournament loss to Stanford sporting a large bandage on his chin.
“Twelve stitches,” he said.
Then he opened his mouth and revealed where he had bit through his tongue.
"We knew it was going to be physical," Dastrup said of the game.
Dastrup played 23 minutes and scored nine points against the Cardinal. He saw extended playing time in part because forward Dalton Nixon was unavailable.
Nixon suffered a shoulder injury against Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference title game. He underwent surgery Tuesday, marking the end of his season.
The Cougars certainly could have used Nixon Wednesday.
“Against a big, physical front line, Dalton’s one of our frontline warriors,” said coach Dave Rose. “I was proud of Payton and how he played.”
Dastrup went into the locker room with a bloody chin in the second quarter of Wednesday’s game and returned in the second half.
BYU had a tough time with Stanford's frontline. Reid Travis finished with 25 points and 14 rebounds while Michael Humphrey had 11 points and 14 boards.
Nixon suffered a foot injury in early December and missed 11 straight games before returning against San Diego on Jan. 18.
Nixon provided a big lift for the Cougars off the bench and finished the season six points and three rebounds per game. He scored 10 points, collected six rebounds, dished out four assists and had one steal in the Cougars’ 85-72 victory over Saint Mary’s in the West Coast Conference Tournament semifinals.
Though BYU played without Nixon, others stepped up for the Cougars. Rylan Bergersen scored a career-high seven points.
"I was really proud of Rylan and how he played," said coach Dave Rose.
Jahshire Hardnett had 12 points of 6 of 8 shooting from the field.
BRYANT AND CHILDS HONORED: BYU’s Elijah Bryant and Yoeli Childs were named to the 2017-18 NABC Division I All-District Nine First-Team, the National Association of Basketball Coaches announced Wednesday.
Bryant and Childs were joined by Saint Mary’s Jock Landale and Emmett Naar and Gonzaga’s Johnathan Williams on the first team.
FIRST-ROUND BLUES: Wednesday marked the first time BYU opened the NIT on the road since 2006, when the Cougars fell at Houston in Rose's first season as head coach.
BYU also lost in the first round of the NIT last year at home against UT Arlington.