BYU holds off Utah State for second in-state win, 75-66

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LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – For the second time this week, the BYU basketball team stayed in its home state, went on the road, and pulled out a victory.

Three days after beating Utah Valley in Orem, the Cougars traveled to Logan and took down the Utah State Aggies, 75-66 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

Four Cougars finished in double figures, led by Yoeli Childs and newcomer McKay Cannon, who each scored 17 points.

Elijah Bryant added 15, while TJ Haws chipped in 10 points.

The biggest difference in the game came at the foul line, as BYU made 24 of 28 free throw attempts, while the Aggies made just 10 of 23.

“You throw Saturday in from last week and go Saturday to Saturday, it’s three big wins, and you see a lot of competitive spirit in our group,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “This is a unique place to play, period. But BYU coming in here, makes it a little more special, especially for the teams. It was a great crowd, and I think our guys were really amped up to play.”

The Aggies scored the first points of the game at the 17:17 mark, on a trey by Koby McEwen. After BYU tied the game at 5-all, Utah State went on a 7-0 run to take the 12-5 lead with 9:53 to go in the half. 

After nearly four minutes without a field goal, Jahshire Hardnett took the lid off the basket as he drove and scored with 5:01 on the clock, bringing the Cougars back within four, 15-11. 

USU increased its lead to six, 20-14, before BYU answered, outscoring Utah State 10 to 3. A three-point play by Childs gave the Cougars their first lead of the game, 24-23, with 1:18 remaining in the half.

After an Aggie free throw, BYU closed with a 28-24 lead after a Haws floater and a pair of free throws from Cannon just before the end of the half. The Cougars went 7 of 9 from the field to end the half.

Childs led the Cougars with nine points and four rebounds while Cannon and Nixon had six and five points, respectively, off the bench. McEwen scored 12 in the first half to lead Utah State. BYU held the Aggies to 27.6 percent shooting from the field.

Bryant opened the second half with a 3-pointer to extend the Cougar lead to seven, 31-24. The Aggies responded with a 9-0 run to retake the lead, 33-31. Bryant countered, burying his second trey of the game with 15:54 on the clock to give BYU the slight advantage, 34-33.

BYU and USU traded baskets midway through the second half with the Aggies taking the 41-39 lead with 12:58 to go. Childs responded on the next Cougar possession with a monster dunk to tie the game at 41-all.

With 8:05 on the clock, the Cougars secured a five-point lead, 50-45, as Bryant completed a three-point play. After a layup by Diogo Brito to bring the Aggies within three, Haws knocked down a 3 and Childs made a layup to give BYU the six-point edge, 55-49.

Bryant drained his third 3-pointer of the contest with 3:24 on the clock to put the Cougars up 10, 62-52. McEwen knocked down a trey at the 1:14 mark, to put USU within single digits, 66-58. 

BYU went 9 of 10 from the foul line to finish the game and seal the 75-66 win.

“One of the more frustrating basketball games I’ve ever been involved in,” Utah State head coach Tim Duryea said. “You have objectives going into a game and you look at a stat sheet after a game and you accomplish a lot of those objectives, you outscore the other team, you make more field goals, you make more three, you get twice as many offensive rebounds and you just can’t make any free throws.”

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