The name of the game was sharpshooters and blown leads.
Tyler Haws wore the look of a man who had done all he could do by the time the third overtime came around, and that was a shame for BYU on Thursday night that he couldn't get past 48 points.
The Cougars couldn't maintain an eight-point lead in the second overtime as the other team's hot shot, Bobby Sharp, wouldn't let his team lose, either.
In the end, Portland dominated the third overtime at Chiles Center — scoring the opening seven points and rolling to a 114-110 win.
So much for BYU's shot at a six-game winning streak, or staying within a game of Gonzaga for first place in the West Coast Conference.
Also lost, statistically speaking, was Haws' effort (on a wild 17-of-34 shooting night) being a share of the Division I lead for the highest scorer this year.
It was Sharp making a free throw (on his only trip of the night to the line) that secured the win.
Portland, which had never defeated BYU in six previous meetings as WCC colleagues, had a free throw to go ahead 113-109 with 13.3 seconds left.
Josh Sharp missed 1-of-2 for the Cougars from the foul line, and Haws couldn't keep Bobby Sharp from getting the ball on the game's last pivotal possession when BYU would be again forced to foul.
As the teams sauntered to the foul line at the opposite end of the floor, after Haws' purposeful foul, he slapped the padding of the basket support in frustration. One more time, Sharp couldn’t be contained. Making it a four-point game was his final act of amazing.
Sharp calmly drained the first free throw, missed the second and Haws hoisted a meaningless 3-pointer from right by his team's bench as the final buzzer finally sounded.
It was a lousy ending to a career night, Haws’ only basket in the final overtime coming on a drive that cut the Cougars' deficit to 111-107 with a minute left.
Matt Carlino had 25 points for BYU and made 10-of-23 shots to complement Haws.
But BYU missed 14 free throws (29-for-43) and couldn't keep up with 14 made 3-pointers from the Pilots, including an 8-of-13 night from the junior-college transfer Sharp off the bench as he posted a career-best 27 points.
Haws had a season-high 37 points in regulation and the junior tied his personal college best by hitting a game-tying 3-pointer with 12 seconds left in the first overtime that brought him to 42 points.
BYU overcame a seven-point deficit with 44.7 seconds left, getting a helter-skelter 3-pointer from Skyler Halford after multiple opportunities, then getting a pair of Haws free throws. That set up his chance at forcing the second overtime when Portland only made 1-of-2 free throws with 23.7 seconds remaining to make it a 91-88 score.
"We came back from the dead a few times," Haws said. "Everybody just believed."
It looked like Haws would keep BYU right in line with Gonzaga, where the Cougars will trudge to Saturday night.
It's a place BYU has never won, or even really threatened, the last two years. Coming off such weary legs, and perhaps dejected spirits, it remains to be seen what BYU has left.
The Bulldogs, which also lost at Portland in early January, held on at home Thursday night to defeat San Diego by three points. That assured the Bulldogs' one-game edge against BYU in the standings.
In the city of Roses, Portland came up smelling like roses from the 3-point line in the first half.
Yes, the first half seemed like a long time ago by the end of the night. But it’s when Portland and Sharp started setting their outside-shooting trends.
The Pilots led at halftime, 45-40, behind a 5-for-7 effort from 3-point range.
That was just the start for a team that entered the game a 37-percent team from behind the arc, but hit early and often against the Cougars. who fell to 13-8 and 5-3 in WCC games.
The run of makes included a bank from Kevin Bailey, and a big smile as he ran back up the floor.
That was just the beginning of the Pilots' high feelings though it would take time to reach a peak.
Kyle Collinsworth missed a chance at the end of regulation to win it for BYU. His drive to the hoop ended with the ball being called out of bounds off him with 1.4 seconds left on a potential fast break.
Bailey missed a jumper at the end of the first overtime.
UP made 14-of-23 3-pointers and by the long night's end had fans from the crowd of 3,500 hoisting them off the floor as the Cougars dejectedly figured out why they couldn't hang on to Haws' heroics or that second-overtime lead.
Sharp hit back-to-back 3-pointers that tied the score at 103 in the final 30 seconds. The second overtime ended with Haws missing a 17-foot baseline jumpshot at the buzzer.
"We had a pretty good lead in that second overtime," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "And then Sharp got loose a couple of times."
That offset a night Haws will be hard-pressed to duplicate on several levels.
His 48 are the third-most points scored BYU history and 11th in the WCC.
"This one's going to hurt tonight. But we've got to figure out a way to forget it," Haws said. "We have to get our bodies right...lots of fluids. Figure out a way to bounce back."