PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – BYU’s dominance over Utah State continued Wednesday night at the Marriott Center.
Alex Barcello scored 17 points as the Cougars beat the Aggies for the 10th straight time, 82-71. Utah State hasn’t beaten BYU since 2011, and they haven’t won in Provo since 2004.
Fousseyni Traore chipped in 14 points and Trevin Knell added a season-high 13. The Cougars (8-1) shot 50% from the field as they won their second straight game and remained unbeaten at home.
“I’m really pleased with the way we played today,” said Barcello. “Definitely two really great wins after a tough loss last week. These guys have done a really great job stepping into roles they are not familiar with. … Coach told us to step up our pace and we practice that every day and these guys have really bought into that. We just listen to coach and try to do the best we can while we are out there. Thankfully it worked for us tonight and we were able to hit shots.”
Justin Bean had 20 points and seven rebounds to lead the Aggies (6-3). Brandon Horvath scored 14 points and Scott Bairstow added 11 as Utah State shot 52%.
BYU has won 10 straight against Utah State dating to 2011.
BYU took a 66-46 lead in the second half after Spencer Johnson bookended a 12-2 run with a pair of 3-pointers.
“This was a super fortunate night for us to make shots and I think it carried the game for us because we did not guard great, so we needed that.”
“As a coach, I am really blessed to have a locker room full of guys who are capable and willing to play different ways,” said BYU head coach Mark Pope. “They give us as staff this incredible gift of being willing to approach the game a little bit differently and refocus and grow.”
The Aggies strung together a big run to get back into the game. Horvath drained back-to-back 3-pointers and made a putback layup to cap a 16-3 run and cut BYU’s lead to 69-62. Utah State had multiple chances to draw closer but Bean, Horvath, and Bairstow each missed free throws down the stretch.
The Aggies went a season-low 9 of 20 (45%) from the free-throw line.
“Their offense challenged us, and we were on our heels from the very beginning,” Aggies coach Ryan Odom said.
Turnovers contributed to multiple scoring droughts for the Aggies and made it difficult to rally once they fell behind. Utah State totaled 17 turnovers and trailed by double digits for much of the second half.
Excellent ball movement led to high-percentage shots for the Cougars before halftime. BYU had 12 assists on 16 baskets in the first half. For the game, the Cougars had 19 assists on 26 baskets.
The Cougars next play at Creighton Saturday, while Utah State hosts New Orleans Saturday at The Spectrum.