Oquirrh Bucket Battle Goes Cougars' Way

Jonathan Tavernari was the leading scorer with 24 points. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

SALT LAKE -- The Cougars remained undefeated with a 68-63 victory over Utah State in a close Oquirrh Bucket showdown at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday. BYU is off to its best started since 1987-88 when the Cougars opened 17-0.

Jimmer Fredette was 3-of-5 behind the three-point line and had 11 points to pace the Cougars in the first half along with Jonathan Tavernari, who had 12. BYU’s aggressive defense forced the Aggies into mistakes, and the Cougars had seven steals before halftime.

The teams traded buckets through the first eight minutes of the half, but BYU went on a 10-4 run and moved out to a 24-16 lead on one of Tavernari’s two first-half three-point shots.

After leading by as much as ten during the first twenty minutes, the Cougars’ lead was cut to three, 38-35, at the half.

The game was hard-fought during the second half, even though the Cougars stretched the lead to 11, 51-42, at the 7:35 mark on a Chris Miles jumper. The Aggies pushed hard throughout the second half, matching BYU almost shot for shot, closing the gap to five at the 0:42 mark.

Utah State had chances to cut the lead, but was not able to convert. The Cougars shot only 61.9 percent (13-21) from the free-throw line in the second half, but it was enough to preserve the win.

Tavernari led all scorers in the game with 24 points had matched Utah State's Tyler Newbold and Gary Wilkinson with a game-high nine rebounds. Gavin McGregor set a new career-high with seven points. Aggie Gary Wilkinson led all Utah State scorers with 22.

BYU finished with 12 steals and converted Utah State’s 17 turnovers into 15 points. The Cougars were 8-of-19 (42 percent) from behind the three-point arc, compared to 5-of-22 (22 percent) for the Aggies. Utah State out-rebounded BYU 39-27.

On the season BYU improves to 8-0, while Utah State drops to 5-1.

Back-to-back wins over Weber State and Utah State this week gives the Cougars an early lead in the battle for the Oquirrh Bucket. Named after the Oquirrh Mountains to the west of Salt Lake City, the Oquirrh Bucket is the symbol of in-state basketball supremacy in Utah. Each year the trophy is awarded to the in-state college team (Utah, BYU, Southern Utah, Utah State and Weber State) that has the best win-loss record against in-state competition. In 2007-08, BYU posted a 4-0 record against in-state schools and brought home the bucket for the second year.

The Cougars will next be in action on the hardwood at the Marriott Center on Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. to defend their nation’s-best 52-game home-court winning streak against the Boise State Broncos. The game will be televised live on the mtn. and will be broadcast on KSL Radio. BYU will host Portland on Sat., Dec. 13 at 8:00 p.m.

CLICK HERE for postgame notes and quotes.


Official Basketball Box Score

Utah State vs Brigham Young

12/06/08 5:07 p.m. at Salt Lake City, UT(EnergySolutionsArena)

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VISITORS: Utah State 5-1

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

42 Wesley, Tai......... f 4-8 0-0 4-5 4 2 6 5 12 4 4 0 2 34

55 Wilkinson, Gary..... f 6-11 0-1 10-11 2 7 9 2 22 2 3 1 1 31

21 Quayle, Jared....... g 3-8 1-5 0-0 2 5 7 2 7 2 0 0 0 25

24 Newbold, Tyler...... g 4-9 3-5 0-1 2 7 9 3 11 1 0 1 0 28

25 Myaer, Jaxon........ g 1-7 1-7 0-0 0 0 0 5 3 2 5 0 1 25

05 Williams, Pooh...... 1-3 0-1 0-0 1 1 2 1 2 0 1 0 0 16

12 Geiger, Deremy...... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 2 2 0 1 15

14 Williams, Stavon.... 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 11

44 Formisano, Matt..... 2-3 0-0 2-2 1 2 3 0 6 1 2 0 0 15

TEAM................ 2 1 3

Totals.............. 21-52 5-22 16-19 14 25 39 20 63 15 17 2 5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-25 44.0% 2nd Half: 10-27 37.0% Game: 40.4% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-7 28.6% 2nd Half: 3-15 20.0% Game: 22.7% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 11-12 91.7% 2nd Half: 5-7 71.4% Game: 84.2% 0,1

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HOME TEAM: Brigham Young 8-0

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. f 7-17 3-9 7-8 2 7 9 3 24 1 1 1 4 39

54 MILES, Chris........ f 3-3 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 4 6 1 1 1 1 18

04 EMERY, Jackson...... g 2-5 1-2 4-8 1 5 6 1 9 3 0 1 5 37

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ g 2-9 1-2 1-1 0 1 1 5 6 6 4 0 1 27

32 FREDETTE, Jimmer.... g 6-13 3-6 1-3 1 4 5 0 16 2 1 0 0 35

01 ABOUO, Charles...... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 3

02 MORGAN, JR., Lamont. 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 18

05 ROSE, Archie........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

15 ANDERSON, James..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2

53 MACGREGOR, Gavin.... 2-3 0-0 3-4 1 1 2 3 7 1 0 2 1 20

TEAM................ 1 1 2

Totals.............. 22-53 8-19 16-24 7 20 27 18 68 14 9 6 12 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-28 50.0% 2nd Half: 8-25 32.0% Game: 41.5% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 7-15 46.7% 2nd Half: 1-4 25.0% Game: 42.1% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 3-3 100 % 2nd Half: 13-21 61.9% Game: 66.7% 6

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Officials: Randy McCall, Larry Spaulding, Michael Irving

Technical fouls: Utah State-None. Brigham Young-None.

Attendance: 13890

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Utah State.................... 35 28 - 63

Brigham Young................. 38 30 - 68

Points in the paint-USU 22,BY 20. Points off turnovers-USU 6,BY 15.

2nd chance points-USU 16,BY 6. Fast break points-USU 0,BY 0.

Bench points-USU 8,BY 7. Score tied-3 times. Lead changed-7 times.

Last FG-USU 2nd-00:07, BY 2nd-02:47.

Largest lead-USU by 1 1st-19:41, BY by 10 1st-03:46.

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Tags: Results