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BYU Snaps Two-Game Skid With Win Over Utah State

Brigham Young Cougars guard TJ Haws (30) drives on Utah State Aggies guard Brock Miller (22) in Provo on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – It was a game that BYU desperately needed to win and it came at the most opportune time as the Cougars beat a very good Utah State team 95-80, snapping a three-game losing streak.

Yoeli Childs led the way with a season-high 31 points and 7 rebounds on 11-of-18 shooting from the field. T.J. Haws added 20 points and seven assists while shooting 7-of-11 from the field and 4-of-6 from the three-point-line.

As a team, the Cougars shot 33-of-59 from the field which is good for 56 percent from the field and 45 percent from downtown on 11-of-24 shooting.

Sam Merrill led Utah State with 17 points, five rebounds and Neemias Queta had 16 points and 8 rebounds. Dwayne Brown Jr. added 15 points.

The Aggies could hit shots from the perimeter as the ended with 3-of-17 shooting from deep. That forced them to score inside as he scored 50 points in the paint.

Red Hot First Half Shooting For BYU

BYU had a really good start in the first half especially from the three-point line. Entering the game, the Cougars were averaging just 28 percent from downtown which was tied for 324 in the country.

In the first half against the Aggies, BYU shot 53 percent from three on 7-of-13 shooting. Five different players hit a triple including Connor Harding and Nick Emery hitting two-for-two from deep.

Childs had a great first half with 14 points, Connor Harding added 10 points and Haws chipped in 9 points.

Utah State couldn’t answer on the offensive end, hitting just 35 percent from the field and 0-for-9 from the three-point line. The Aggies are normally a good three-point shooting team with 38 percent.

“Credit to BYU. I thought they played fantastic basketball. I can’t speak for them, but I thought that was their best game of the year,” Utah State head coach Craig Smith said after the game. “They played with a lot of confidence. They’ve been struggling shooting the three consistently,  shooting 28 percent. We were hoping tonight it wasn’t going to be the night they were going to break out of it because you just knew it was going to be a matter of time,” he added.

The Aggies scored 22 of their 34 points in the paint and 10 points at the free-throw line.


Aggies Comeback Attempt Comes Up Short

It took Utah State 22:09 to score their first three of the game from Merrill. That sparked a 12-5 run for the Aggies to pull within 12, 58-46.

BYU put the lead back out to 22 before Utah State would attempt another comeback and trimmed the lead to 14 with 3:26 left.

“I think there was a lot of emotion from our team tonight,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “The guys were ready from the start. It was a good atmosphere and I’m happy we won.”

The Cougars were able to hold up the final comeback attempt from Utah State and pick up the win.


Next Up

BYU improved to 6-4 on the season, snapping a three-game losing streak. They have now won 7 straight games against the Aggies. The Cougars will face Utah in the Beehive Classic on Saturday at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The game will begin at 12 p.m. on ESPNU and KSL News Radio.

Utah State fell to 7-2, snapping a two-game winning streak. They will play Weber State in the Beehive Classic. The game will begin at 2:30 p.m. on AT&T SportsNet.