OREM, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – BYU had to wait an entire year, but the Cougars got their revenge.
Yoeli Childs scored a career-high 24 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, as BYU pulled away from Utah Valley, 85-58, avenging last season’s shocking loss at the Marriott Center.
“We played much better defensively tonight,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “We made some huge strides. Tonight was probably the first night we shot the ball from the perimeter like we are capable of and hopefully that continues.”
Childs recorded his third-straight double-double and also tallied three assists and three blocks. TJ Haws added 11 points and four assists. Four other Cougars scored eight points in the win.
“I’m really disappointed in the performance that we put out there, Wolverines head coach Mark Pope said. BYU just crushed us, they’re doing a great job over there and should be really proud. We are going to grow and I’m really excited about what this team can become, but we got it handed to us tonight. Credit to BYU, they were phenomenal.”
Childs gave the Cougars the first basket of the night on their first possession after winning the tipoff. The two teams exchanged the lead four times before back-to-back 3-pointers by Childs and Elijah Bryant gave BYU a 12-10 advantage with 15:10 remaining in the first half.
After two scoreless minutes, the Cougars went on a 12-2 run, which included 3-pointers by Haws and Childs, giving BYU a 24-12 lead.
Five-straight turnovers by UVU helped extend the Cougar lead to 30-16 before the Wolverines went on a 4-0 run to cut the deficit back to 10 points with just under six minutes to play before halftime.
In his first game as a Cougar, McKay Cannon scored his first bucket, finishing from behind the arc as the shot clock expired with 1:25 remaining. In the final minute, Childs scored a dunk and Zach Nelson finished a layup for the Wolverines, leaving BYU with a comfortable 13-point lead with eight seconds left on the clock. As the time expired, Kaion Brown converted on a three-point play, extending the lead to 42-26 for the Cougars at halftime.
At the break, Childs recorded a first half career-high 18 points to lead BYU. The rest of the 24 points from the Cougar offense was shared between seven scorers. BYU shot 53.1 percent from the field compared to UVU’s 42.1 percent.
Neither team was able to put together any runs in the first eight minutes of the second half, keeping BYU’s lead consistently over 14 points.
Zac Seljaas scored five-consecutive points and Childs scored his second dunk of the night to give the Cougars a 63-42 advantage.
After a Wolverine layup, the Cougars held the UVU offense scoreless for just over two minutes, while Cannon and Haws scored consecutive 3-pointers, extending the lead to 23 points, 69-46, with 7:43 remaining in the game.
BYU (5-2) next plays at Utah State Saturday, while Utah Valley (4-3) hosts UT-San Antonio.
Three pointers by Seljaas and Hardnett were answered by a three-point play by Kenneth Ogbe for a 75-52 score.
BYU shot 53.6 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from beyond the arc, while tallying a season-high 25 assists.
Brandon Randolph led Utah Valley in scoring with 16 points. Jake Toolson pitched in 14 and Akolda Manyang was the final Wolverine in double figures with 11. Manyang also led UVU on the glass with five rebounds and recorded two blocked shots.