BYU Basketball Survives Tough Test From Rival Utah

Nov 27, 2021, 9:39 PM | Updated: Nov 28, 2021, 12:52 am
Courtesy of BYU Photo...
Courtesy of BYU Photo

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — BYU basketball traveled up to the Huntsman Center and defeated the Utah Utes 75-64. The Cougars defeated the rival Utes behind a stellar performance from their defense and a total team effort. Senior guard Te’Jon Lucas led the team in scoring with 18 points on 8-10 shooting. Alex Barcello added 17 points and five assists.

BYU dominated in the paint, outscoring the Utes 48-28 in the paint and outrebounding them 45-28. The Cougars had four players score in double figures, despite shooting just 2-12 from three in the game.

Shooting Struggles Lead To Tight First Half

The Cougars trailed early in this game, thanks to some hot three-point shooting from the Runnin’ Utes. Utah started the game 4-8 from three, but struggled after that. Utah never trailed in the first half.

BYU attacked the rim in the first half, dominating in the paint. The Cougars outrebounded the Utes 25 to 17 and outscored them in the paint, 20-10. They also pulled down nine offensive rebounds, leading to seven second chance points. Te’Jon Lucas led the team in scoring with seven points.

Neither team shot the ball well in the first half. The Cougars shot just 35% from the field, while the Utes shot just 39%. The teams combined to shoot just 5-22 (22%) from deep in the half. BYU’s star, Alex Barcello, was rendered ineffective in the half. He had just four points on 1-4 shooting while being hounded by the Ute’s defenders including Rollie Worster.

BYU trailed the Utes at the half 29-27.

Offensive Explosion Helps Put Away Utes In Second Half

BYU took their first lead of the game on an Alex Barcello free throw with 18:32 left in the game. It was a back-and-forth match throughout the second half with the teams trading defensive stops and big-time shots.

The Cougars built their second half lead despite attempting just three three-point shots. After shooting 1-9 in the first half, BYU focused on scoring at the rim. They scored 28 of their 48 points in the paint in the second half.

Te’Jon Lucas showed up big for the Cougars in his first taste of the BYU-Utah rivalry. He added 11 points in the second half to help BYU pull away. Gavin Baxter added 10 points in a dominant performance in the paint.

Utah cut the lead to just six points with four minutes left in the game. But the Cougars held on to earn the win. They held the Utes to just 2-10 from three in the second half. The Cougar defense continues to be a big advantage for this team early in the season.

BYU survived a tough test from their rivals, earning a 75-64 win.

BYU’s Next Opponent

BYU faces another in-state foe with the Utah Valley Wolverines (6-1) on deck. The game will take place at the UCCU Center in Orem, Utah with a 7 p.m. (MDT) tip-off. You can listen to the game on KSL NewsRadio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM.

Dallen Graff is a KSL Sports Contributor. He is the Producer of Cougar Sports Saturday (SUBSCRIBE) on KSL NewsRadio. Follow him onΒ Twitter.

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