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BYU vs Utah game recap: Cougars get blasted by Utes 81-64

In a hostile environment the Cougars were unable to hit shots and fell to an emotionally charged Utah team 81-64.

Dave Rose
Dave Rose
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

With a rowdy crowd in the Huntsman Center, the Cougars were beat up from the opening tip-off.  Unable to hit shots from near or far, the Cougars were dominated in all facets of the game.  The defense couldn't get a stop and the offense couldn't make a shot in a game where the Cougars couldn't hit the 70 mark yet gave up 81 to Utah.  Against a much improved Utah team, the lack of passion and energy was costly.

1st half

The Utes came out swinging in the first half with Jordan Loveridge hitting on all cylinders, scoring eight of Utah's first ten points.  The Cougars struggled with their shot while missing layups and inside shots, going 5-12 from the free throw line and only shot 31 percent from the field.  At one point the Utes went on a 10-0 and a few minutes later went on an 8-0 run to lead by 18 early.  Loveridge scored 15 points in the first seven minutes of the game but failed to score again in the first half.  It looked like the Cougars were going to bring the lead down to single digits just before the half but instead a foul and then an offensive rebound and put back gave the Utes the 13 point lead.

2nd half

Utah came out the same way they did in the first half with a hot hand and aggressive play.  BYU couldn't match the intensity and gave up play after play that soon led to a 20 point lead.  The lead stayed between 13-20 most of the second half while BYU continued to take bad shots and make bad decisions.   Two second half plays were examples of the Cougars inability to make the proper decision.  The first, when the Cougars were trying to cut into a 15 point deficit, started with a turnover and fast break with Tyler Haws running the two on one.  Instead of taking the ball to the rim he tried to throw an alley oop to Eric Mika and Mika couldn't finish.  On the ensuing rebound, Nate Austin went over the back for the offensive foul.  Later in the second half, with a 20 point deficit, Mika went for a frustration foul and ended up having it called a flagrant 2 and an ejection.  With Mika out, the Cougars couldn't begin to make a comeback and continued to fall further behind while the Utes celebrated.

Next game:

BYU will next travel to Oregon to face the 15th-ranked Ducks on December 21st at  8:30 pm MST.