The Beehive State rivalry that brings you the Holy War on the gridiron renews its feud on the hardwood as the Pac-12 clashes with the West Coast Conference. The Utah Utes make the quick in-state trip to face the BYU Cougars Saturday night. Utah won for the third time in four games as they downed Utah State 77-67 in Salt Lake City last Saturday. BYU won its fifth straight with a 74-68 win over Weber State on a neutral floor last Saturday. The Utes own a 76-66 edge in the all-time series between the teams and have won three straight meetings, including an 83-75 home win in the last matchup on December 2, 2015.
Utah Utes Look for Fourth Straight Win vs. Cougars
Utah bounced back from a loss to Butler by downing Utah State in their last contest. The Utes seek a second straight win overall and their fourth in a row over BYU. Utah picked up the win in the first game of the inaugural Beehive Classic as they jumped to an 11 point halftime edge and stayed pretty even the rest of the way. The Utes shot 51.1 percent from the field and went 10 of 22 from three point range while sinking 19 of 22 free throws. Utah held Utah State to 36.7 percent from the field and forced 16 turnovers to offset 16 of their own. Tyler Rawson (six boards) and Justin Bibbins (seven assists) each had 16 points in the win.
The Utes are a good offensive unit as they are tied for 125th in the nation with 78.1 points per game. Utah is tied for 119th in the nation in rebounding with 37.9 boards per game and tied for 112th in assists with 15.2 per contest. The Utes are above average defensively as they are 91st in the country allowing 67.6 points per game. David Collette leads Utah with 13.7 points plus five rebounds per contest. Sedrick Barefield chips in 9.9 points plus 3.3 assists a game, Justin Bibbins puts up 11.3 points plus 4.7 dimes a night and Tyler Rawson contributes 9.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Donnie Tillman (10.7 points), Gabe Bealer, Jayce Johnson and Parker Van Dyke are all expected to contribute in some fashion on the offensive end. Utah shoots a solid 46.5 percent from the floor as a team. The Utes sink an average of 8.6 triples a night while shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc. Utah is converting a very good 79.3 percent of their attempts at the free throw line this season.
BYU Cougars Shoot for Sixth Straight Win
BYU has won five straight games as they won the second game of the Beehive Classic by downing Weber State. The Cougars go for a sixth straight win and look to avenge three straight losses to the Utes here. BYU led by four at the half and held Weber State at bay the rest of the way to earn the hard fought victory. The Cougars shot 53.2 percent from the floor and drilled 10 of 19 three point attempts while Weber State was six of 24 from beyond the arc. TJ Haws led BYU with 24 points in the win to lead five players in double figures.
The Cougars are tied for 152nd in the nation in scoring offense with an average of 76.7 points. BYU is tied for 273rd in rebounding with 33.8 boards per game and tied for 75th with 15.9 assists a night. The Cougars are above average on the defensive end as they enter this contest 120th in the nation with 69.1 points per game allowed. BYU shoots 47.5 percent from the floor as a team. The Cougars are sinking 7.3 three pointers per game while shooting 36 percent from downtown. BYU is good at the free throw line, sinking 75.7 percent of their chances this season. Elijah Bryant is tied for the team lead for BYU with 16.2 points plus 5.8 rebounds per game. Yoeli Childs chips in 16.2 points plus 8.9 rebounds a night while TJ Haws contributes 12.8 points plus 4.2 assists a game. McKay Cannon, Zac Seljaas, Dalton Nixon, Jahshire Hardnett and Luke Worthington all score at least five point a night for the Cougars this season.
- Utes are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. West Coast
- Utes are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- Utes are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games
- No Key Trends
Utah has been playing well and both teams are coming off wins in the Beehive Classic. The Cougars are at home and they have the advantage of the raucous atmosphere within the Marriott Center behind them. One interesting note: there isn’t a player on Utah’s roster who has played a game at BYU in their career. It’s an intimidating venue for a road team: look for the Cougars to use that to their advantage as they sneak out a tough win over a bitter rival.