BYU, Utah Utes basketball: Cougars roll past Utes, tie series at 125-all

first_img Utah Utes campus briefs U. seniors have rough final game BYU reserves spark victory Boylen has heated media exchange BYU campus briefs MWC roundup: Lobos beat TCUcenter_img U., Y. rivalry is close despite result Y., U. boxscore: BYU 71, Utah 51 SALT LAKE CITY — It might have been the first time in the 101-year history of the Utah-BYU rivalry that fans started streaming up the aisles with 11 minutes left in the game.At that point, the Cougars already led by 29 points and from there they coasted to a 71-51 victory over the Utes Wednesday night at the Huntsman Center.It marked the second-largest margin of victory ever in a BYU win in Salt Lake, only behind a 73-50 Cougar win in 1953. It was also the biggest Cougar victory over Utah since an 85-62 loss in Provo three years ago.And it wasn’t like the Cougars played like the 14th-ranked team in the nation. They only managed to shoot 36.8 percent from the field, tying their worst percentage of the year, and league player of the year candidate Jimmer Fredette managed just eight points on 1-of-7 shooting,But the Utes were even worse. They shot a dreadful 26.9 percent from the field, the worst in Jim Boylen’s three years and committed 17 turnovers.”Offensively it was a very poor performance,” Boylen said. ” Their defense was good, but we struggled to score. We had open shots that didn’t go in. We had poor execution, (had trouble) finishing plays at rim and playing through contact. I thought we had all those. We missed eight free throws. It just cascaded from there.”BYU coach Dave Rose was happy with his offense and gave credit to Utah’s defense.”I thought defensively that was as good as we’ve had consistently,” he said. “I mean, we were engaged. We did a great job of what we wanted to do and it was tough for them to score.”With their offense struggling, the Cougars relied on two guys off the bench, who had career nights. Well, almost for Michael Loyd, who scored all 18 of his points in the first half to stake the Cougars to a 36-24 lead after getting 19 Saturday against New Mexico. Freshman Brandon Davies was unstoppable, scoring a career-high 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 13 in the second half.The Utes got off to their usual slow start, but had to be heartened when Fredette picked up his second foul less than five minutes into the game and went to the bench. Jace Tavita was at the free throw line with a chance to give the Utes the lead, but clanked both free throws and Utah never came close to leading again.Loyd came in for Fredette and took the game over, nearly outscoring the Utes by himself the rest of the half. The Utes closed the gap to seven at 31-24, but couldn’t score over the final 2:43 and the Cougars took a 12-point halftime lead.The Utes had come back from double digits to win against the likes of Illinois and LSU this year and they had cut a 14-point deficit in the Provo game to four in the second half, so they had hope coming out of halftime.Instead they came out worse than the first half, missing 12 straight shots to start the second half as the Cougars pushed the lead to 48-24. When Kim Tillie hit a pair of free throws to break the scoring drought with 14:08 left, the sellout crowd gave the Utes a mock cheer.The lead got as high as 57-28 on a 3-pointer by Jackson Emery, who was the only starter in double figures with 11 before the Utes closed the gap over the final 10 minutes.Utah finished with no starters in double figures and no players in double figures either for the first time all year, as reserve Chris Hines led the way with nine points and Luka Drca had eight, including 1 of 8 from the field. Marshall Henderson only scored four points and went 1-for-7, while Carlon Brown scored five on 2-of-7 shooting.”We’ve been looking for a third scorer all year,” said Boylen. “Tonight we didn’t have a first and second scorer.”Rose was pleased with the way his team stayed with its gameplan, even though some of his players struggled.”What I thought we did tonight was we stayed with our plan to get our extra third or fourth guy down to kind of knock balls away,” he said. “If we can get a hand on a ball or if we can run through a pass, we’ve got a pretty good chance to score because we’re good in transition.”GAME NOTES: Utah center David Foster went out early in the second half with a sprained left ankle and never returned. “He’s out, he’s probably gone for the year,” Boylen said afterward. … The all-time series is tied at 125-125 with the Cougar victory. … The crowd of 14.901 was the largest crowd at the Huntsman Center since the 2005 Utah-BYU game.e-mail: [email protected] Relatedlast_img

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