SALT LAKE CITY- The BYU men’s basketball team fell 81-64 to the Utah Utes on Saturday at the Huntsman Center.
“We never really found ourselves," BYU basketball coach Dave Rose said. "Our shooting percentage was so bad, I think that guys tried to take it on themselves to maybe get a little too deep with the ball or get to the rim and score."
Tyler Haws finished with a team-high 14 points to go along with six rebounds, while Eric Mika finished with a double-double, 12 points and 10 rebounds, and a block. Kyle Collinsworth went for 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists and Matt Carlino added seven points and four rebounds. Anson Winder came off the bench and scored seven points.
BYU (8-4) trailed 42-29 at the half despite Mika scoring the first BYU points on a putback and recording his first block at the 17:48 mark. The Cougars trailed early 18-5 after Utah (9-1) went on an 18-3 run. Collinsworth and Haws both made layups in transition to cut the deficit to 13. With 9:51 left in the half, Collinsworth made a running jumper, which was followed by a layup by Mika from the inbound pass to make it 29-14.
Carlino connected on a 3-pointer at the 8:02 mark trailing 32-19, which was followed by a Mika layup with his back to the basket. Frank Bartley IV got his only block with 6:32 remaining in the half followed by a 3-pointer by Haws to trail by 12 points. Josh Sharp came off the bench and made a layup with 1:30 left in the half. Mika made the last bucket before the half on a fall-away jumper to cut the deficit 40-29.
Collinsworth finished with a team-high 10 points and seven rebounds at the half, while Mika contributed nine points and six rebounds. BYU forced Utah to go 3 of 14 from the field to end the half in cutting the lead to as little as 11 before halftime.
The Utes started the second half on a 5-0 run until Haws went to the charity stripe to score two. At the 17:39 mark, Haws made a jumper, which was followed by a putback by Nate Austin to trail 35-50. Sharp made a tough layup under the basket to draw the foul, but couldn’t convert the three-point play. With under 12 minutes to play, Utah grabbed a 21-point lead.
With 8:28 remaining, Mika was ejected on a flagrant 2 foul, finishing with a double-double. Carlino banked in a jumper at the 7:45 mark, but BYU couldn’t make a late run to overcome the deficit. Utah took its largest lead of the night with over five minutes remaining with a 23-point lead. Winder converted a 3-point play to make it a 20-point game with three minutes left and followed it up with a 3-pointer with 1:35 remaining.
The Cougars finished the night shooting 21 of 64 for 32 percent from the field. They were 26 percent from behind the 3-point line and shot 54 percent at the charity stripe. Utah shot 41 percent from the field, 31 percent from the behind the arc and 78 percent at the line. The loss ended BYU's seven-game winning streak against Utah.
“We had a lot of chances in the first half," Rose said. "It got up to about 15 or 16 and we got three or four straight stops and we would come down and dribble the ball off our foot. We weren’t in sync and a lot of that had to do with the atmosphere and their athleticism, length and size. It wasn’t our best game, that’s for sure.”
The Cougars stay on the road to play Oregon on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. PST. The game will be televised live on Pac-12 Network and broadcast on the Cougar IMG Sports Network on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM.