The Cougars and Utes won’t meet on the hardwood this season, but the rivalry between BYU and Utah goes back more than 100 years. While Utah has gotten the better of BYU as of late, in 1921 the Cougars came out on top.
On the front page of the Jan. 26, 1921 Brigham Young University student paper White and Blue a front page story recapped a basketball game against the U of U Crimson Warriors held on Jan. 22.
College Team Wins Over U. in Hard Fought Game
Every available seat was taken and crowds outside were offering as high as two dollars for general admission seats to the B. Y. — U. of U. game last Saturday night. Seldom before had the student body spirit and enthusiasm been so intense. Everyone was anxious to see the B. Y. “put it over” the U. of U. and those who secured physical room realized their hopes.
The game was one of the fastest and most interesting games ever played on the ‘Y’ floor. The closeness of the score was such that keen enthusiasm was kept up from start to finish. Our stellar hoopsters played a wonderful brand of ball all during the contest, but somehow it seemed impossible to make our score grow as fast as that of our opponents. The first half ended 6 to 9 in favor of the Utah men.
With renewed vitality and enthusiasm the second half commenced. The speed of the boys of the ‘Y’ increased gradually and just before the game was over they played the Utah men completely off their feet (meanwhile the crowd had gone wild with cheering). The result was a decisive victory for the B. Y. with the score of 22 to 16.
Very close mass defense on the part of the “U” kept the “Y” team from scoring at first, and a very tight guard line formed by the “Y” held the “U” score down. The small count of the first half is evidence of the hard battle both teams put up. The “Y” bunch had more system and teamwork however, so that when they broke thru the defense, the victory was ours.
The “U” lead in the count up until about the middle of the second half. Then a pretty basket caged from the center of the floor by Swenson, followed by two more by Weight, who came up from the guard line at lightening speed, put the “Y” in the lead. That was the beginning of the end of the “U’s” hopes. Every “Y” player and booster as well, then put every bit of energy they had into the game. The “Y” scoring continued and our boys had the ball most of the time. The “U” payers were at a loss to know what to do. the extremely fast passing and spectacular team work of the “Y” quintette dazed the “U” bunch and they were completely played off their feet, as evidenced by the comical scene of Utah center (at a suggestion from Bill Snow) almost thru the ball into the “Y” basket.
The “Y” continued to score and the student body rose in its majesty and filled the campus with the “sixth man” telepathy. When the final whistle blew the visitors from the city found themselves on the small end of the score 6 points behind.
It would be impossible to say who played the best game for the B. Y. U. Every player gave all he had to win the game. Our guards played wonderful ball, Richards shutting his man entirely out and Weight holding his man to one basket while he caged five, as many as the “U” made altogether, Bill Snow did himself and the school more than justice by playing the entire game on a sprained ankle, holding his man to two baskets while he himself gained the same number. On the forward line Swensen and “Bunk” Brown played stellar ball. Although very closely guarded they ran away from their men, hunted and secured the ball, playing extremely fast and well on the floor, Swenson also got a couple of pretty field baskets.
The President of the University of Utah, the President of the Student Body, and about a hundred rooters came down from the city to see the game. The black point signs all of the pavement of the city Saturday morning was evidence of that the “U” students were up in the night. They did well to seek publicity before the game.
The wonderful showing of our team Saturday night and the superior brand of ball they played, together with the enthusiasm and support of the students foreshadows a series of victories to follow and state championship.