BYU Basketball Rebounding Among Observations From Win At Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah – The No. 18 BYU Cougars basketball team remained undefeated after outlasting the Utah Runnin’ Utes 75-64.
Te’Jon Lucas led the Cougars in scoring pouring in 18 points with 11 of them coming in the second half.
It wasn’t easy for BYU, who trailed at the half, but they made enough shots in the second half to get another quality win.
Here are my three observations from the Cougars sixth win of the year.
1. BYU rebounding
Utah got off to a fast start this season in large part to their ability to rebound the basketball.
Prior to the BYU game, the Runnin’ Utes were 4th in the country in rebounding margin.
You wouldn’t have known that watching the game against BYU.
The Cougars blasted Utah on the glass 45-28.
Strong rebounding is what helped the Cougars remain close in the first half when shots weren’t falling.
It’s encouraging that BYU can find ways to win games when they don’t shoot it well from the three point line.
This team feeds off defense and rebounding. It was on display against Utah.
2. BYU basketball rim protection
Gavin Baxter had his hands full against Utah seven footer Branden Carlson.
BYU has been a bit undersized at the center position this season since Richard Harvard went down with a cardiovascular issue, however, Baxter did a great job filling that role against the Runnin’ Utes.
He blocked two shots while making things difficult for Carlson all game long.
Baxter provided a nice boost offensively as well. Most of his points came off dunks. One in particular was a nice two-handed slam on a fast break started by Caleb Lohner.
It’s nice to see him healthy and contributing after two consecutive season-ending injuries.
3. On campus rivalry games
The press area at the Jon M. Huntsman arena is really close to the fans. I can reach out and touch somebody. It’s that close.
Right at tipoff, one Utah fan told me he hasn’t seen the arena filled up like it was in a while.
Utah fans showed up and provided a hostile environment.
This game belongs on the campus of Utah and BYU every time they play each other.
College basketball is best when played on campus, and this game should never see a neutral site venue again.
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