PROVO — In addition to everything he’s already accomplished at BYU, senior guard TJ Haws recorded his signature moment Saturday night at the Marriott Center.

Haws, whose wife is scheduled to deliver the couple’s first child in the hours after the game, drilled a deep 3-pointer with nine seconds remaining to deliver a huge, thrilling 81-79 victory over Saint Mary’s. 

The Gaels had a chance to tie the game or win it on their subsequent possession, but guard Jordan Ford’s runner bounced off the rim, touching off a raucous celebration for the crowd of 15,212. 

Haws finished with 23 points on 9 of 15 shooting from the floor. Yoeli Childs had 19 points. 

BYU overcame a 29-point performance by Malik Fitts, who fouled out with 4:36 remaining. 

With the win, the Cougars jumped into a second-place tie with Saint Mary’s in the West Coast Conference standings. 

In the matchup between the top two 3-point shooting teams in the country, the Gaels made 10 of 20 from 3 while the Cougars knocked down 10 of 22. 

When BYU played at Saint Mary’s on Jan. 9, the Cougars were without an injured Childs. Saturday, the Gaels were without injured guard Tanner Krebs.

BYU improved to 17-7 and 6-3 while Saint Mary’s dropped to 19-5 and 6-3.

Saint Mary’s built its largest lead, 67-58, with 8:36 remaining. But BYU answered with a 10-2 run to tie the game at 69 at the 6:23 mark. 

Moments later, Fitts fouled out and Haws subsequently made a pair of free throws to give the Cougars a 71-70 advantage with 4:36 left.

Saint Mary’s Alex Ducas scored seven points over the final four minutes, including a 3-pointer in the corner with 1:28 remaining. 

BYU’s Zac Seljaas rebounded a Gael miss to give the Cougars the ball with 17.8 seconds, setting up Haws’ game-winner. 

BYU raced out to a 7-0 lead in the opening couple of minutes, capped by a 3-pointer by Haws. 

But Saint Mary’s called a timeout and then, just like that, went on a 9-0 run to take its first lead. Ford scored seven of those points.

The two teams traded baskets over the next five minutes and the Gaels led 24-21 with 11:30 remaining in the half.

At the 9:57 mark, Toolson went down awkwardly with an apparent ankle injury. He was on the floor writhing in pain for several minutes before he was helped off the court and into the locker room.

Without Toolson, BYU went on an 11-3 run, including three 3-pointers during that stretch. 

Amazingly, Toolson checked back into the game at the 6:48 mark. He scored five points over the final five minutes of the half, including a 3-pointer with 58 seconds left. Dalton Nixon’s bucket with 16 seconds remaining gave the Cougars a 43-40 advantage at intermission. 

In the first half, the lead changed hands six times and was tied nine times. 

BYU visits Portland Thursday.