Utah Notches Third Loss Of The Season In Rivalry Battle

Dec 17, 2022, 6:17 PM
Utah Utes center Branden Carlson (35) takes a pass under the basket with Brigham Young Cougars forward Fousseyni Traore (45) defending as BYU and Utah play at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Photo Cred: Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
(Photo Cred: Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

PROVO, UT- It was a battle at the Marriott Center in the 263rd edition of the Utah versus BYU basketball rivalry game. The game was physical and often sloppy with neither side relenting. However, BYU mostly had a solid grip on the game to where not even new uniforms could inspire the Utes to push through for the win, notching their third loss of the season in a rivalry battle.

The Cougars came out victorious 75-66.

Halftime Stats

At the half the Utes trailed 35-21 to the Cougars- the biggest culprits? Poor free throw shooting (Utah was at 64% to BYU’s 100%) and not turning BYU turnovers into points (both teams had eight but the Cougars gained 13 points to the Utes’ five). Otherwise, the stat sheets looked very comparable.

Despite not having his best half of basketball, center Branden Carlson led the team in points with 12 with Ben Carlson leading rebounds with four and Rollie Worster being the best assister with two.

The Final Stretch

The final stretch of the game did not start well for the Utes with the Cougars coming out hot and extending their lead 41-33 in the first minute and a half of play. Eventually, the Cougars’ shots cooled, but defensively they were too disruptive to Utah’s game plan.

On both sides the game continued to be a very physical affair with the whistle feeling like they’d never end.

At the 8:03 mark, BYU really turned on the gas extending their lead by 10, 54-44. Rudi Williams proved to be too much for the Utes defense leading the Cougars in scoring with 26 points. Making matters worse for Utah, they just really struggled to make shots fall whether it was picking bad ones or the Cougars simply being disruptive defensively.

Utah got hot scoring around the four-minute mark and cut BYU’s lead down to six, but the Cougars came roaring back hitting few timely threes themselves with just under two to play.

The renewed shooting effort from the Utes would ultimately prove to not be enough. They would end the night with Branden Carlson leading in points at 18, Lazar Stefanovic leading rebounds with seven and Rollie Worster leading assists with five.

The Utes were 41% from the field, 20% from the three, and 67% from the free throw. The biggest difference in the game were turnovers where both teams were fairly even, Utah had 14 total and BYU had 13, but the Cougars were much better harvesting points from Utah’s mistakes with 21 to the Utes’ 12.


Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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Utah Notches Third Loss Of The Season In Rivalry Battle