BYU jumped out to a 7-point halftime lead and hit some clutch shots late to pick up a 68-64 win over Utah State Saturday night in Salt Lake City. Yoeli Childs led BYU with 20 points and 10 rebounds and TJ Haws added 16 points, but it was Alex Barcello’s 3-point shot with 27 seconds left that put BYU up by four and iced the game. The win gives BYU 8 straight over the Aggies.
BYU’s offense struggled once Utah State went to a 1-3-1 zone in the second half, but the Cougar defense kept the Aggies in check and prevented Utah State from gaining momentum. BYU did a great job on MWC reigning POY Sam Merrill for the second season in the row, as the senior finished with 11 points on just 2-10 shooting.
This was a huge win for BYU as it game them another resume-building win. The Aggies were an NCAA tournament team last year and have spent most of the season in the top 25, and they should only continue to get better as star center Neemias Queta gets closer to a 100%.
BYU now owns non-conference wins over Houston (away), Utah State (neutral), Virginia Tech (neutral), UCLA (neutral) and Nevada (home). The season is still young, but BYU has itself in position for an NCAA bid if they can continue things and take care of business in the WCC.
BYU’s next game is next Saturday versus Weber State in Provo.