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BYU at Utah State Basketball Final: Cougars tame the Aggies 91-81

In a hard fought battle between in-state schools, the Cougars held off the Aggies 91-81.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Looking for the first win for Dave Rose in the Spectrum, the BYU Cougars played flat and out of character for 30 minutes, but still held on for the 91-81 win over the Utah State Aggies. The win was the first in Logan for the Cougars since 2000 and dropped the Aggies to 3-3. Previous to this game the Aggies had won six straight over the Cougars in the Spectrum.

1st Half

Both teams came out with a lid on the basket as missed lay-ups marred the first few minutes. Utah State started the scoring with a free throw and led BYU until Kyle Collinsworth scored a bucket two and a half minutes into the half.  Neither team could get things going as the score was knotted at six at the first media timeout. Led by Collinsworth the Cougars put together an 8-0 run to take a 12-6 lead over the Aggies, but a 6-0 run by USU tied the game back up. Collinsworth seemed to be the only player that could score as Tyler Haws and Chase Fischer started 0-7. Both teams fought hard, but shot poorly from the field, keeping the score close. Shooting 30 percent for the half could have doomed the Cougars, but their 7-9 from the line kept them in the game. Down 32-31 the Cougars had a chance to take the lead into the half, but a missed 1-1 free throw by Haws and the inability to get a shot off after having 20 seconds on the clock, gave USU the lead headed to the locker room. The low scoring half was a blessing and a curse for the Cougars as they didn't shoot well, but the Aggies were 0-2 when leading at the half.

2nd half

Utah State looked to pull away to start the half as they went up by five early, but BYU would weather the storm as emotions ran high on both sides. After a steal by Haws and a hard foul by Jojo McGlaston, Haws and McGlaston earned double technical fouls. The Cougars would continue to chip away at the lead and after a missed lay-up for the Aggies, and an easy lay-up for Anson Winder, the Cougars took the 40-39 lead. The Cougars and Aggies continued to trade baskets, but an 18-footer by Haws, two free throws by Collinsworth, and a Luke Worthington hook shot gave BYU the 54-48 lead. With 10 minutes left in the game, the Cougars used a 12-0 run to build a 10-point lead and didn't look back. At the under eight minute timeout, the Cougars led by eight at 61-53. BYU almost gave the momentum to the Aggies as Collinsworth missed a wide open three and then went back to foul Chris Smith on a three-point attempt. Three made free throws later and the Aggies had pulled back within seven, but a Haws three pointer squashed the run.

In all the teams would end with six ties and 11 lead changes before the Cougars finished off the Aggies, but USU never gave up. BYU would increase its lead to 14 at 77-63 before giving up a 6-0 run to the Aggies with 1:35 left in the game. With little time remaining and a large deficit, the Aggies began to foul and the Cougars capitalized. Collinsworth would hit all 10 of his free throws on the night and the Cougars went 34-39 from the line. With the 91-81 win, and due to a barrage of free throws at the end of the game, the Cougars reached the 85 point plateau for the eighth time in as many tries. Tyler Haws led all players with 35 while Collinsworth added 20 and Winder added 17. Collinsworth also added 10 rebounds and four assists. Chris Smith led the Aggies with 25 and Darius Perkins added 21 in the loss.

Next Game

BYU will take a short trip to the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday the 6th of December to take on the University of Hawaii at 4pm MST.