Crosstown smash: UVU humbles BYU 75-60 for second consecutive season

Chants of “who’s your daddy?” poured down from the rafters.

The pocket of green in the Marriott Center’s upper ring could hardly contain itself. For the second straight year, UVU had taken down big, bad BYU, and this time on the Cougars’ home floor in convincing 75-60 fashion Wednesday night.

Maybe the chants weren’t too far off.

“Our guys are trying, but we’re just not very good right now,” head coach Mark Pope said.

You know things are bleak when your own coach is admitting the team is lousy. At least Pope is honest about it.

BYU’s shooting woes hit a new low on the season, with the Cougars finishing at a 36% clip from the field and an abysmal 4-26 from behind the arc.

No, that wasn’t a typo. BYU — who drained 19 threes just eight days ago — made just four of 26 attempts from deep against the Wolverines.

Four.

For.

Twenty-six.

Maybe one of those misses could hit the panic button that Pope desperately needs to press.

Fouss Traore was the lone bright spot for the Cougars, posting 18 points with seven rebounds despite heavy Wolverine pressure. Rudi Williams added 15 points off the bench, with his replacement in the starting lineup — freshman Dallin Hall — shooting 2-12 from the field. Fellow freshman Richie Saunders made his first career start as well, only to last 18 minutes and be held scoreless.

“I like that we’re trying new things right now because with the more things we try we’ll gain experience,” Pope said of the lineup change. “Clearly we’re searching right now. It’s an incredibly painful process.”

The Cougars now fall to 5-5 on the season, having been vanquished by UVU in consecutive campaigns.

Who would’ve thought? Strange things are afoot in happy valley.

If BYU can lose to UVU by 15 at home, the idea of what No. 21 Creighton will do to the Cougars this weekend in Las Vegas should terrify everyone.

“That’s a full time job right now trying to keep their hearts and souls in it,” Pope said of team morale. “We’ll get better. We’ll continue to get significantly, significantly better.”

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