SALT LAKE CITY – A 3-pointer in the final 30 seconds of the game from Alex Barcello as well as a double-double from Yoeli Childs gave BYU a 68-64 win over Utah State Saturday night at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
"Utah State is a great team," BYU head coach Mark Pope said. "I’ve said it for the last week, I think Craig Smith is amazing for what he has done. It’s just incredible. He’s got guys that play hard and with a ton of heart. It’s a great team. I couldn’t be more proud of our guys for fighting the whole time. They got through some adversity, some stickiness and weirdness and just stuck together."
With 27 seconds left on the clock and the Cougars up by only one point, Alex Barcello put up a shot in the corner just behind the arc to give BYU a four point lead at 68-64. The Aggies fouled Toolson with five second left in the game sending him to the free-throw line.
After a missed free-throw, the Aggies moved down the court shooting a 3-pointer of their own but the ball hit the backboard and Childs rebounded the ball to run out the clock as BYU took the win 68-64.
Childs led all scorers with 20 points, adding 10 rebounds for his 39th career double-double. TJ Haws followed with 16 points of his own and five assists.
Three-straight treys from Jake Toolson and Haws opened up the game for BYU, giving the Cougars an early lead 9-2. However, Utah State went on an 8-2 run to bring the score within one point, 13-12, with just over 12 minutes left in the half.
An Aggie free-throw tied the game at 17-all which was followed by a 3-pointer to give Utah State a 20-17 lead. The two teams traded points as both Haws and Connor Harding tallied 3-pointers before Zac Seljaas gave BYU a 25-22 advantage, driving towards the basket for a layup.
But the Aggies took the lead again, hitting back-to-back treys to take a 28-26 lead with 5:32 left in the half. However, a 9-0 run from the Cougars put BYU back on top with a 35-28 lead going into halftime.
After one half, BYU was shooting 51.9 percent from the field as Haws led all players with 13 points. The Cougars were 50 percent from behind the arc while holding the Aggies to a 25 percent clip.
The Aggies opened up the second half with a 3-pointer to bring the score within four points. BYU worked up to a nine point lead as Childs put up two from the charity line followed by a layup making the score 48-39.
USU began to chip away at BYU’s lead going on an 8-0 run to tie the game at 50-50. Childs answered with a trey and after two Aggie free-throws, Dalton Nixon and Childs both tallied layups to make the score 57-52.
The Cougar lead was cut to one point at 63-62 with 2:15 left in the game as the Aggies went on a 8-3 run. A jumper from Haws increased BYU’s lead to three points but two points from the free-throw line for the Aggies again brought the game within one point at 65-64 with 1:42 on the clock.
A 3-pointer from Barcello gave the Cougars a four-point lead with less than 30 second left in the game. BYU held off the Aggies’ offense for the final seconds of the game and the Cougars took the win 68-64.
BYU returns to its home court on Saturday, Dec. 21, for an in-state game against Weber State. The game is slated for a 7 p.m. MST tipoff at the Marriott Center with a live broadcast on BYUtv. The game can be heard on BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2, BYU Sports Network and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.