Three Observations From BYU’s Win Over Utah

Dec 12, 2020, 6:50 PM
Head Coach Mark Pope - BYU Basketball...
Coach Pope in the huddle at the Marriott Center (Courtesy of BYU Photo)
(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – The BYU Cougars avenged their overtime loss from last year beating the Utah Utes 82-64.

Alex Barcello and Matt Haarms were held to 12 points combined, but the supporting cast came through in a big way, led by Connor Harding who scored a team high 17 points.

The BYU bench out scored Utah 34-10. Spencer Johnson led BYU bench scorers with 16 points, 10 of which came in the second half.

Here are my three observations in honor of the first three point basket made in the Marriott Center by freshman Caleb Lohner.

1. Richard Harward low post scoring

It’s worth repeating, but losing Gavin Baxter was a big loss for BYU. Kolby Lee, Caleb Lohner, and Richard Harward are seeing increased time since Baxter’s injury.

Harward stepped up in a huge way for BYU playing in his first rivalry game. The Utes made a second half surge, but Harward collected several offensive rebounds to keep the Cougars in front.

This was easily his best game as a Cougar, possibly as a college basketball player, and it came at just the right moment.

He finished with 15 points and seven rebounds.

What impressed me the most was his physical presence in the paint. He fought hard on the glass and was rewarded with multiple second chance buckets.

2. First Three Pointer for Lohner

Caleb Lohner hadn’t made a three point shot in the Marriott Center prior to the rivalry game.

That changed in the first half as Lohner drilled a corner three right in front of the Utah bench.

Lohner is a beast on the glass, but the Cougars need him to be a reliable scorer as well to take the pressure of Alex Barcello.

His willingness to play defense and crash the boards have become a source of energy for this team.

He got to the free throw line as well going 3 for 4. It won’t be long before he’s putting up consistent double double performances.

3. Bench scoring was massive

Richard Harward had his best game as BYU Cougar. Caleb Lohner ripped down 10 rebounds while scoring eight points. Spencer Johnson made critical three point shots in the second half.

One thing to watch going forward is how many minutes Spencer Johnson receives alongside Alex Barcello.

Brandon Averette was subbed out after two minutes in the second half for Johnson who played 16 minutes after the break.

Only Barcello played more second half minutes.

Johnson spent the early days of the pandemic working on a farm in Oregon and now he’s worked his way into the rotation for BYU.

It’s been a tough road for Johnson who’s playing on his fourth team in two years. He’s found a home in Provo.

Johnson shot the ball well making 4 of 8 from downtown. He seems like a more natural fit alongside Barcello.

Either way, expect Johnson’s minutes to remain steady going forward. He’s earned it.

This was a nice bounce back win for BYU after struggling to score against Boise State. The Cougars are dangerous when they get contributions from as many players as they did in the win against the Utes.

You can hear Matt Baiamonte every Saturday on KSL Newsradio for Cougar Sports Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. or you can find him on Twitter here.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

BYU Cougars

BYU Football, Jaren Hall, Gunner Romney...
Mitch Harper

BYU Football Unveils Team Photo For 2022 Season

Another season of Cougar football is around the corner when the annual team photo drops.
2 days ago
Keenan Pili - BYU Football...
KSL Sports

60 in 60: #17 BYU’s Keenan Pili (Linebacker)

Throughout the summer Hans & Scotty are counting down the top 60 college football players in the state of Utah as voted on by the media (and a fan ballot).
2 days ago
Utah High School Football, Corner Canyon, BYU...
Mitch Harper

Ten BYU Prospects To Watch During 2022 Utah High School Football Season

Watch for these BYU football prospects during the 2022 prep season.
2 days ago
BYU Athletics, LaVell Edwards Stadium Upgrade...
Mitch Harper

BYU Announces Upgraded Amenities At LaVell Edwards Stadium

BYU unveiled some upgrades that will cater to corporate sponsors.
2 days ago
Jacob Conover, BYU football, QB...
Mitch Harper

Jacob Conover Enters 2022 Season As BYU’s Clear-Cut Backup QB

Conover will be Hall's backup signal-caller heading into the 2022 season.
3 days ago
BYU Football, Aisea Moa...
Mitch Harper

BYU Football Team Completes Picture Day As First Scrimmage Looms

BYU football smiled for the camera at team picture day.
3 days ago
Three Observations From BYU’s Win Over Utah