BYU Men’s Basketball wins close one in Logan
BYU Men’s Basketball beat Utah State 67-64 on Dec. 5 in front of a raucous crowd of 1,600 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah. It was the Cougars’ ninth consecutive win over the Aggies, and BYU moves to 5-1 on the season.
“Every time you come to Logan it is an adventure beyond adventures and the outcome is always 100% uncertain,” head coach Mark Pope said. “What an unbelievable performance by their team. It’s a credit to Craig (Smith) that his team can function so incredibly well without him in the building and it’s a credit to Eric that he can just pick up the mantle and execute really well. To have some fans in this building, it was like heaven. So cool, it was fantastic.”
The Cougars shot 40% from the field and 36.4% from beyond the arc. Alex Barcello led the team with 23 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Caleb Lohner scored a career-high 11 points and also tallied six rebounds.
BYU got down 6-0 early, but a Barcello triple and Lohner’s first 3-pointer of the season tied it up at six-all. The Cougars then got down 12-6, cutting the lead to two on layups from Connor Harding and Brandon Averette.
A pair of free throws by Lohner pulled BYU within two at 14-12. Another set of free throws and a hook shot by Kolby Lee then made it 19-16, Utah State.
Spencer Johnson knocked down a pull-up jumper, drew a charge, and then hit a three on the next trip down, giving the Cougars their first lead of the game at 21-20.
Matt Haarms got a layup and then scored on a kick-out 3-pointer, putting BYU up 26-22. A jumper by Barcello gave the Cougars a six-point advantage.
Barcello hit another jumper in the paint, making it 30-25, BYU. An Averette layup and Barcello three gave the Cougars a 35-27 lead.
Two free throws from Barcello stretched the BYU lead to ten. A floater by Haarms with time running down kept a 10-point lead going into the half. The Cougars were up 39-29 after the first 20 minutes.
Neemias Queta led the Aggies at the break with 11 points. Utah State shot 38.7% from the field and 20% from three in the half.
Barcello had a team-high 12 points on perfect 4-for-4 shooting in the first. Haarms had seven points at the break. BYU shot 48.3% from the field and 38.5% from the deep.
The Aggies opened the half on a 5-0 run before Lohner knocked down his second three on the night, making it a 42-34 Cougar lead. Utah State drew within five again but Barcello drove the length of the court for an and-one layup, making it 46-38, BYU.
Utah State got the lead down to four before Averette got a layup to fall, and it was 48-42 BYU. Lohner then hit his third triple and the Cougars went in front 51-44.
Harding followed his own miss with a lay-in to make it 53-44. Johnson scored on a backdoor layup and Barcello got a coast-to-coast layup to put BYU up 11, 57-46.
The Aggies went on a 10-0 run, cutting the lead to one. Richard Harward ended the run, going 1-for-2 from the free-throw line, but Utah State scored on the following possession to tie it up at 58.
Two Barcello free throws then made it 60-58, but the Aggies tied it up at 60 with just under four minutes remaining. A single Haarms free throw gave BYU a one-point lead.
Harding hit a clutch 3-pointer in the corner to break another tie, giving the Cougars a 64-61 lead with less than a minute left. Two Aggie free throws then made it a one-point game.
A single Barcello free throw made it 65-63 before Utah State went 1-for-2 from the line and the Cougars were up 65-64. Barcello then hit two free throws to seal it for the Cougars, who won 67-64 after the Aggies failed to score in the final six seconds.
BYU held Utah State to 35.6% shooting from the field and 15.4% from three on the game. The Aggies had three players finish in double figures. Queta had 18, Marco Anthony had 17 and Rollie Worster had 15.
Haarms contributed eight points, two assists and four blocks. Both Harding and Johnson finished with seven points and Averette added six points of his own.
The Cougars will be back in action at home on Wednesday, Dec. 9 against Boise State. Tip-off will be at 7 p.m. MST and the game will be televised on BYUtv. It will also be broadcast on the BYU Sports Network on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143 and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.