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State Of Utah Has Impressive Weekend Of Hoops Going 9-2

(Alina Rogers, Utah Athletics)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah became the first Pac-12 school since Arizona in 2015 to beat all four California schools (Cal, Stanford, USC, UCLA) on the road after they swept the southern California schools. They are in third place in the Pac-12 Conference standings.

The Utah State Aggies moved up to second place in the Mountain West Conference after splitting their road trip against two of the top four teams in the conference.

BYU stay in second place in the West Coast Conference after a weekend sweep.

Utah Valley’s only game of the week was postponed due to weather in Seattle. They are in third place in the WAC standings.

It was a great week for the state of Utah in college hoops with the local teams going 9-2.

Weber State remains in third place and are one and a half games behind Montana for first place in the Big Sky Conference. The Wildcats will play the Grizzlies on Thursday in Ogden.

Southern Utah moved up from seventh place to fifth after winning all three of their games.

ESPN puts out a Basketball Power Index, also known as BPI, which measures a team’s strength going forward. The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee has a metric called “Strength of Record” that reflects the chance a typical 25th ranked team would have team’s record or better, given the schedule on a 0 to 100 scale, where 100 is the best.

Half of the in-state schools improved their BPI rating from the previous week, while five of the six teams improved their strength of record.

Here’s the fifth edition of the KSL Sports in-state college basketball power rankings from games played Monday, February 4 to Sunday, February 10:

1. Utah State Aggies (18-6, 8-3)
ESPN BPI Rating: 7.8, No. 54 (Down 5 Spots)

Wins: at Fresno State (7.3 BPI, No. 58)

Losses: at San Diego State (3.1 BPI, No. 119)

Strength of Record: 56 (Up 1 Spot)

Recap: The Aggies picked up a revenge win over Fresno State, 82-81. Utah State led most of the game but the Bulldogs didn’t go away. Sam Merrill had 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, Neemias Queta had a fantastic performance with 18 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 blocks. Brock Miller chipped in 17 points and 5 rebounds on 5-for-7 shooting from downtown.

In their 68-63 loss to San Diego State, the Aggies made 20 field goals with 10 being from beyond the arc. They shot 39 percent from the field, but the Aztecs made just 37 percent of their shots. The difference was on the boards, with SDSU outrebounding the Aggies on the offensive glass 14-9. Sam Merrill had 35 points on 10-of-20 shooting and 6-for-12 from deep, he was the only Aggie to score in double figures. The loss snapped a seven game winning streak.


Previous Ranking: 1

Next Up: vs. Wyoming (6-17, 2-8 MWC), Wednesday at 7 p.m. They will travel to Air Force (10-13, 5-6 MWC) on Saturday at 2 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on the Mountain West Network.

2. BYU Cougars (16-10, 8-3 WCC)
ESPN BPI Rating: 5.1, No. 85 (Up 10 Spots)

Wins: at Portland (-10.5 BPI, No. 332), vs. Pacific (-3.0 BPI, No. 224)

Strength of Record: 99 (Up 10 Spots)

Recap: Portland had a two point lead, just 28 seconds into the game and that was it. BYU dominated the rest of the way as they knocked off the Pilots 83-48. The Cougars shot 48 percent from the field and held Portland to just 31 percent. T.J. Haws led the way with 22 points, Yoeli Childs picked up another double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Zac Seljaas had 12 points off the bench.

It was a close game against Pacific, with the lead changing six times and the score tied eight times. BYU was able to outscore the Tigers 36-29 in the second half to pick up the 69-59 win. Childs had 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Cougars. Connor Harding chipped in 13 points off the bench.


Previous Ranking: 2

Next Up: at San Diego (16-9, 5-5 WCC), Thursday at 8 p.m. They will travel to Loyola Marymount (17-8, 5-6 WCC) on Saturday at 2 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet and KSL Newsradio.

3. Utah Utes (13-10, 7-4 Pac-12)
ESPN BPI Rating: 2.4, No. 132 (Up 9 Spots)

Wins: at USC (4.3 BPI, No. 96), at UCLA (4.6 BPI, No. 93)

Strength of Record: 103 (Up 33 Spots)

Recap: The Utes led the entire game and had a 23 point lead with 11:32 left in the game. They picked up the 77-70 win over the USC Trojans. Both Gach led the way with 15 points, Sedrick Barefield and Jayce Johnson each had 13 points, while Johnson pulled down 13 rebounds to complete the double-double. Donnie Tillman chipped in 12 points off the bench.

It was a different story against the UCLA Bruins. The Utes trailed all but 0.5 seconds of the game. They trailed by 22 points with 13:27 left in the game when the Utes made their comeback that was capped off by a buzzer beating three-pointer by Parker Van Dyke to give the Utes a 93-92 win. Van Dyke finished with 15 points, Timmy Allen led Utah in scoring with 22 points to go with his 7 rebounds. Sedrick Barefield poured in 19 points and 7 assists, while Riley Battin had 18 points and 8 rebounds.

Previous Ranking: 4

Next Up: vs. Arizona (14-10, 5-6 Pac-12), Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPNU. They will host Arizona State (16-7, 7-4 Pac-12), Saturday at 8 p.m. on FS1.

4. Utah Valley Wolverines (16-7, 5-3 WAC)
ESPN BPI Rating: 1.9, No. 139 (Down 4 Spots)

Strength of Record: 95 (Up 3 Spots)

Recap: The Wolverines did not play a game this past week. Their game at Seattle was postponed due to a big snow storm in the Seattle area. The game has been rescheduled for February 26 at 8 p.m.

Previous Ranking: 3

Next Up: at New Mexico State (20-4, 9-1 WAC), Thursday at 7 p.m. on Eleven Sports. They will travel to UT Rio Grande Valley (14-12, 6-4 WAC), Saturday at 6 p.m. on the WAC Digital Network.

5. Weber State Wildcats (15-9, 9-4 Big Sky)
ESPN BPI Rating: 0.1, No. 169 (Down 5 Spots)

Wins: at Northern Arizona (-9.2 BPI, No. 320)

Losses: at Southern Utah (-5.0 BPI, No. 265)

Strength of Record: 171 (Down 8 Spots)

Recap: The Wildcats got off to a poor start against Southern Utah and couldn’t catch up. The Thunderbirds led the entire game to pick up a 65-53 win and a season sweep over Weber State. Michal Kozak led WSU with 12 points off the bench, Cody John added 11 points. Jerrick Harding was held to just 8 points on 2-of-14 shooting.

Weber State bounced back with a controlling win over Northern Arizona 86-71. The difference in the game was the Wildcats outscored the Lumberjacks 46-27 in the first half. Harding exploded for 29 points on 10-for-18 shooting. Cody John poured in 25 points and 6 rebounds.

Previous Ranking: 5

Next Up: vs. Montana (17-6, 10-2 Big Sky), Thursday at 7 p.m. They will host Montana State (11-12, 8-5 Big Sky) on Saturday at 7 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on Pluto TV channel 235.

6. Southern Utah Thunderbirds (12-10, 7-6 Big Sky)
ESPN BPI Ranking: -5.0, No. 265 (Up 14 Spots)

Wins: at Idaho (-13.1 BPI, No. 342), vs. Weber State (0.1 BPI, No. 169), vs. Idaho State (-7.0 BPI, No. 303)

Strength of Record: 211 (Up 17 Spots)

Recap: The Thunderbirds started the week with three games and were able to win all three contests. They started with a 75-64 win over Idaho, SUU outscored Idaho 44-32 in the first half. Andre Adams had a double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Dre Marin and Harrison Butler scored 14 points apiece, while Cameron Oluyitan had 12 points.

Against Weber State, the night belonged to Southern Utah as they led the entire game. They picked up the season sweep over the Wildcats with a 65-53 win. Harrison Butler had 19 points and 13 rebounds, Dre Marin added 15 points and Cameron Oluyitan chipped in 10 points.

SUU had to fight and claw for their 78-72 win over Idaho State. It was a game that had many lead changes and was tied at 42 at halftime. The Thunderbirds outscored the Bengals 36-30 in the second half. Andre Adams had another double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Cameron Oluyitan poured in 14 points and 7 rebounds, while Dre Marin and Jacob Calloway each scored 13 points.


Previous Ranking: 6

Next Up: at Sacramento State (10-11, 4-8 Big Sky), Thursday at 8 p.m. They will travel to Portland State (9-14, 4-8 Big Sky), Saturday at 8 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on Pluto TV.