SALT LAKE CITY – Yoeli Childs recorded 31 points for the third-straight game to lead the BYU men's basketball team to a 74-59 win over Utah in the Deseret First Duel on Saturday afternoon at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. Saturday's game was the first of a doubleheader in the Beehive Classic.
“I think we’ve had two games this week where the guys have been really connected on both ends of the floor for long periods of time," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "I think the guys have just bought into the purpose of the way we need to play, and that’s probably what is most important.”
In addition to Childs' 31 points, he recorded 11 rebounds and two assists. TJ Haws contributed 18 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Zac Seljaas tallied 14 points, six rebounds, five steals, three assists and one block.
Yoeli Childs took control of the Cougar offense in the beginning of the game as he went five of five from the field to score all of BYU's first 12 points for a 12-10 advantage with under 14 minutes to go in the first half.
The next few minutes saw Seljaas take a turn scoring to keep the Cougars on top as he hit a 3-pointer, layup and a pair of free throws for a five point lead, 19-14, at the 8:53 mark.
The Utes went on an 8-0 run to take a 22-19 lead with six minutes to go before halftime but BYU answered with eight-straight points on its end of the court. TJ Haws scored two points from the charity stripe and a 3-pointer while Connor Harding added a trey of his own as the Cougars took back the lead, 27-22, with 3:48 remaining on the clock.
Childs converted on a three-point play and was followed by a pair of free throws by Dalton Nixon to give BYU a 32-28 lead at halftime.
In the first half, BYU shot 37 percent from the field while Utah recorded 38.5 percent. Childs led all scorers with 15 points while grabbing five rebounds.
Childs, Seljaas and Haws combined for 13 points to start the second half as Cougars took a 45-28 lead over four minutes into the half as the defense kept the Utes from scoring.
Utah went on a 13-5 run to cut the BYU lead to single digits, 50-41, with 8:41 remaining in the game.
With 5:27 on the clock, Haws hit a long 3-pointer while getting fouled and converted at the charity stripe to give the Cougars a 14 point advantage, 62-48.
BYU finished the game with 47.4 percent shooting from the field, 29.2 percent from three and 92.9 percent from the free throw line. The Utes recorded 36.5 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from beyond the arc and 64.7 percent from the charity stripe.
The Cougars return to the Marriott Center on Wednesday, Dec. 12, as they host Portland State at 7 p.m. MST. The game will be televised live on BYUtv and audio broadcasts will be available on BYU Sports Network, BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM) and KSL (1160 AM/102.7 FM).