The Utah Valley University Wolverines paid a visit to the Marriott Center to face off against the BYU Cougars. The Cougars won 75-65.
A notable UVU starter was Jake Toolson, a former Cougar who transferred to UVU in 2016.
The ROC energy was high as the game started off, with the Wolverine fan section answering back throughout the game.
UVU started strong, and points were on the board within 20 seconds of tipoff. BYU junior forward Yoeli Childs answered back, scoring his first points directly after.
At the beginning of the first half, BYU junior point guard Jahshire Hardnett broke a dry spell of not many baskets, and the game got rolling.
After a basket by BYU junior point guard Jahshire Hardnett and a foul against ball carrier Dalton Nixon brought the score close to a tie at 11-10. A steal by Mckay Cannon would put the Cougars in the lead.
Cannon, a sophomore who transferred from Weber State in 2017, played in 29 games during his first season at BYU last year.
A shot by Childs put BYU in the lead for just the second time of the first half. Just three minutes later, Childs’ two successful free throws put the Cougars back in the lead, bringing the score to 23-22.
With the half drawing to a close, Childs drew a foul and once again brought the Cougars back into the lead, but UVU quickly answered back and ended the half with a 26-25 lead over BYU. Both teams struggled with shooting in the first half, shooting a combined 23 percent from the field.
The teams kept both the foul number and point total low, with 20 combined team fouls at the end of the first half and only 51 combined points. Despite that, the stadium stayed energetic, with the rival fans constantly trying to out cheer one another.
After a rowdy halftime, the Cougars came out strong. Seven points to start the half from junior TJ Haws put the Cougars back in the lead with a score of 32-28.
BYU added to their lead with a 3-pointer by Haws, who went 3-8 from behind the arc against the Wolverines. BYU then took a 43-35 lead.
The fouls kept rolling in, halting the momentum of the game. The two teams exchanged points and brought the score to 48-46.
A costly foul by Toolson allowed Cannon to extend the Cougar lead, and that momentum carried into the rest of the game.
The final minutes began to heat up when a dunk by BYU’s Gavin Baxter drove the crowd wild. Cannon, however, drew his fourth foul after UVU’s answering drive and was the first BYU player in foul trouble during the night.
Hardnett was also heating up, sinking two back-to-back buckets that helped the Cougars pull ahead once again, and brought his point total to 9. A costly turnover by the Wolverines proved costly when Childs capitalized on the opportunity, extending the Cougars’ lead even further.
With a second-half team shooting percentage of 54.8 percent, BYU was finally finding their rhythm, and as the half was drawing to a close, the Wolverines and the Cougars continued to battle for the lead.
In the end, the Cougars outshot and outrebounded the Wolverines, securing the win at home.
Childs finished the game with 15 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks and 20 points. Haws racked up the most points of the night with 23. The highest lead by the Cougars was 12 points, but the total foul count reached 40 fouls between the two teams.
After a night of aggressive play, the Cougars secured the home win against the Wolverines, and continue their season. Catch the men’s team at home against Northwestern State on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7 pm.