Utah, BYU Take Turns Controlling Basketball Rivalry
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The year 2011 marked a new era for the Utah-BYU rivalry. Both schools left the Mountain West Conference and entered new territory. Utah joined the Pac-12 Conference and BYU became a member of the West Coast Conference.
BYU Wins Two Straight Over Utah
The Cougars dominated the first two matchups of the new era. They had a squad that featured future NBA player, Brandon Davies and college star Tyler Haws. Davies was key in the paint against a Utah squad that was just getting its feet wet playing in higher competition and under new head coach in Larry Krystkowiak.
The first contest of this modern era ended in a 61-42 drubbing of Utah by the Cougars on December 10, 2011. Davis was kept in check with just three points in 25 minutes. The Cougars were led in scoring by Noah Hartsock who had 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
Josh Watkins led the Utes in scoring with 14 points on a much higher volume shooting night in which he went 6-for-15.
A much-improved Utah squad nearly defeated the Cougars in on December 8, 2012.
The Utes led 35-26 at halftime but rendered a late comeback effort by BYU to fall 61-58. Tyler Haws scored the final five points of the game for the Cougars to complete the comeback victory. He finished with 14 points to tie Utah’s Jordan Loveridge for the game high.
Utes Go For Three Straight Over BYU
On December 14 2013, the Utes began to reel off the first of three straight wins over their arch rivals. The 2013 win was their biggest win of the streak as they came away with an 81-64 victory at the Huntsman Center.
Although three Cougars – Haws, Kyle Collinsworth, and Erick Mika – finished in double figures, they couldn’t overcome big performances by Loveridge and Delon Wright. After the game, Loveridge declared, “Utah basketball is back.”
The Utah winning streak continued on December 10, 2014. Wright again had a terrific game against the Cougars with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
BYU was led by Haws with 23 points and Collinsworth with 17 points but fell 65-61 to a Utah squad that featured three future NBA first-round draft picks in Wright, Jakob Poeltl and Kyle Kuzma.
Utah’s 83-75 win over BYU on December 2, 2015 was a game that will likely live in infamy for both schools. Not only did the Utes win their third straight over BYU, but that game also featured a punch by then-freshman Nick Emery on Utah guard Brandon Taylor.
Emery was ejected from the game and entered into Beehive State lore with that play which many believe led to Utah’s cancelling of the 2016 game.
BYU got their revenge after the cancelled 2016 by snapping Utah’s three-game winning streak with a 77-65 victory on December 16, 2017.
Emery didn’t play after withdrawing from the team partway through the season due to personal reasons. Elijah Bryant stepped up in Emery’s absence with 29 points to lead the Cougars to the win.
This Year’s Matchup
Saturday at noon, the two teams will face off in the second-annual Beehive Classic at Vivint SmartHome Arena.
The 4-3 Utes are coming off a 69-64 win over Tulsa on Saturday.
At 6-4, the Cougars most recently defeated Utah State 95-80 on Wednesday.
It’s expected to be Emery’s first matchup with Utah since the 2015 incident. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.