No. 12 BYU Upset By Crosstown UVU In Overtime
Dec 1, 2021, 9:42 PM
(Laura Seitz/Deseret News)
OREM, Utah – No. 12 BYU basketball saw its undefeated record come to an end on Wednesday after falling to crosstown UVU in overtime, 72-65.
Here’s a recap of what took place in the Cougars setback to the Crosstown Wolverines.
Coming into the game, a few members of the BYU basketball team were battling a cold. Only one ended up missing the UVU game and that was Gideon George. Creating the first starting lineup change of the season for the nationally-ranked Cougars.
Stepping in for George was LSU transfer Seneca Knight, who earned the first start of his BYU career.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) December 2, 2021
He made the most of his first start as a BYU Cougars by recording a block, rebound, and a bucket in the first two minutes of play. But that was the only offensive highlight before the first media timeout as both teams combined to shoot 1-of-16 from the field into the first break.
Spencer Johnson came off the bench out of the timeout and woke up BYU’s offense by knocking down a three. Heading into this game, Johnson, who spent a semester at UVU after transferring from Weber State when Mark Pope was the coach in Orem, said he wanted to see himself knock down more outside shots.
At the 11:58 mark of the second timeout, BYU lost one of their key players in the frontcourt in Gavin Baxter, to an injury. Baxter injured his left knee in a non-contact scenario defending UVU’s Justin Harmon. Harmon went up for the score and knocked down a bucket.
Last season, Baxter was sidelined after three games due to an ACL injury he suffered on Thanksgiving night in 2020.
Baxter was helped off the court by teammates Trey Stewart and Paora Winitana, where he didn’t put any pressure on his leg. A significant loss for BYU as he was critical to the Cougars’ success in a rivalry win over Utah last week.
The injury forced BYU to go with freshman Atiki Ally Atiki who played three minutes against UVU’s star big man Fardaws Aimaq before Fousseyni Traore manned the frontcourt with Caleb Lohner.
BYU appeared to be in shock after their teammate went down with the injury.
Seneca Knight three to put BYU up 22-18. Then UVU quickly went on a 4-0 run. Aimaq had a chance to put UVU out in front, but he missed a pair of free throws. BYU then answered with a Spener Johnson bucket to regain the lead at 24-22, heading into the half.
UVU shot only 27% from the field and 43% from the free throw line and only scored two points at the break.
Under-16: BYU 35, UVU 30
BYU shot 31% from the field in the first half. However, they came out aggressive in the second, knocking down their first four field goal attempts, led by guard Alex Barcello who scored six points in the first four minutes of play.
Under-12: BYU 42, UVU 35
UVU’s Justin Harmon knocked down a three that put the Wolverines within two. Then BYU guard Te’Jon Lucas went to work with a layup and then an assist on the following possession to an open Trevin Knell, in rhythm, for a three.
Under-8: BYU 46, UVU 43
Fousseyni Traore with a block that leads to an Alex Barcello fastbreak layup to put BYU up 44-37. But as they have done all night, UVU would not go down easily. Aimaq answered with a quick bucket to put the Wolverines down five.
Moments later, BYU coach Mark Pope was upset after a no-call when UVU’s Blaze Nield was on the back of his Barcello. Immediately the refs called the technical on BYU’s third-year headman. That technical gave Justin Harmon a pair of free throws to make it a one-possession game again.
Under-4: BYU 50, UVU 43
BYU’s defense suffocated the Wolverines in these four minutes, not allowing UVU to make a field goal. BYU offensively didn’t fare much better but gave themselves a little bit of a cushion heading into the final 3:40 of action.
Atiki Ally Atiki gave some valuable minutes on the defensive end defending Fardaws Aimaq. The young freshman center is raw, as he’s played less than 35 organized basketball games in his young career, but he has the flashes that show his potential.
End of Regulation: BYU 53, UVU 53
With under one minute remaining, officials reviewed an out of bounds call that was ruled to be BYU’s possession. After a review, the call was overturned and became UVU ball.
Aimaq took advantage knocking down a bucket in the paint to put UVU up 52-51 with 44 seconds left. Then after a missed hook shot by Caleb Lohner, UVU built their lead to three when Tim Fuller had a slam dunk.
Things looked bleak for BYU, but the Cougars found a way to stick around. Seneca Knight was fouled and knocked down two free throws.
Then Aimaq on the other end split free throws keeping the score at 55-53. Off the missed free throw, Spencer Johnson gathered possession and started to push it down the court. UVU’s Justin Harmon went for a steal and fouled Johnson. Johnson had a chance to tie it up at the foul line, but he missed both free throws.
UVU couldn’t gather possession, giving BYU another chance.
Johnson made a tough bucket going towards the hoop to tie it up at 55 and send it into overtime. That was BYU’s first field goal make in eight minutes of game action.
BYU’s offensive woes continued into overtime. The Cougars built a 59-57 lead but then let UVU go on a 10-0 run in the extra session.
Spencer Johnson wouldn’t roll over as he knocked down a three-pointer to cut the deficit to five, but then UVU took care of business at the free throw line to complete the upset.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) December 2, 2021
With the loss, BYU falls to 6-1 overall on the season.
Next up for BYU is another road game as they travel to the Show-Me State to take on Missouri State this Saturday at 2 p.m. MT on CBS Sports Network and KSL NewsRadio.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.
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