SALT LAKE CITY – Yoeli Childs scored 29 points in his first appearance of the season as BYU men’s basketball lost to rival Utah 102-95 in overtime at the Huntsman Center on Wednesday.
"We had a tough time in transition in the second half," BYU head coach Mark Pope said. "It made the game very complicated for us. We've got to get way better and we know that. This game asks you how you're going to respond and we have to find a way to respond to this in a very positive way."
Before missing the final five minutes of regulation due to injury, Childs made 12 of 16 attempts from the field to score a game-high 29 points while making all three 3-point shots and hauling in seven rebounds. Jake Toolson added 27 points of his own while filling the box score with nine rebounds, six assists and two blocks. Alex Barcello and Dalton Nixon both broke double figures in scoring with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
After trailing the entire game, Utah tied the game up at 81-all with 1:59 left in regulation. With 1:16 remaining, Connor Harding found Toolson behind the 3-point line and the senior scored his third 3-pointer of the game to break the tie and give BYU (6-4) an 84-81 advantage over Utah (6-2).
The Utes answered with a layup to cut the lead to a single point before sending Barcello to the free throw line with 30 seconds left. The junior guard made both free throws to give BYU a three-point lead.
Rylan Jones tied the game back up at 86-all for Utah with a deep 3-pointer with 22 seconds remaining. The Cougars had the final shot of regulation and Barcello missed a fadeaway jumper in the post in the waning seconds forcing overtime. Along with losing Childs to injury, BYU entered overtime missing seniors TJ Haws and Nixon after the two players fouled out late in regulation.
After Utah made two free throws to start overtime, Barcello cut for a layup to tie the game up at 88 with 3:41 left in overtime. The Utes had their way in the paint scoring six-straight points to bust open their largest lead of the night.
Toolson drew a foul and made a pair of free throws to trail Utah 94-90 with 1:41 remaining. However, it was too little too late for BYU as the Utes maintained control and answered any basket to claim the 102-95 comeback victory.
BYU opened up the game scoring on its first four offensive possessions with Toolson leading the way with a jumper in the key and a 3-pointer from the corner to help the Cougars jump out to a 10-4 lead over Utah. Childs made his first five shot attempts, including three baskets from behind the arc, to help BYU take a commanding 20-8 lead five minutes into the game.
Nixon put back an offensive rebound and Toolson found Zac Seljaas in the wing for a wide-open trey to increase the Cougars’ advantage to 25-10. BYU cooled off on the offensive end of the court as the Utes cut the lead back to 10 points midway through the period.
Haws reignited the BYU offense with a wraparound pass to find Childs right under the basket for an easy lay-in. Haws continued to be an impact as he poked a ball loose from a Utah big man under the hoop before sprinting down the court to knock down a transition 3-pointer to make the score 31-15 with 7:28 remaining in the half.
The Utes capitalized on four BYU turnovers to go on a 10-0 run to cut the deficit down to 31-25. Nixon put a stop to the run and silenced the crown with a trey. After the teams traded baskets, Nixon hit his second 3-pointer to give the Cougars’ an eight-point lead at the break, 41-33.
BYU entered halftime shooting 55.2 percent from the field while making eight of 12 3-point attempts. Childs scored a game-high 18 points at the half while also pulling down six rebounds to help the Cougars outrebound the Utes 18-9 in the first period.
Toolson scored a jumper to start the second half and give BYU a double-digit edge, 43-33. After Utah cut the lead back down to five points, Childs continued to have his way on offense scoring 10-straight points to claim a 54-40 lead.
The Cougars took a 16-point advantage with layups from Barcello, Toolson and Harding. The Utes stormed back with an 11-4 run to cut the lead to single digits before Seljaas answered with his second trey of the game to make the score 67-55 with 10 minutes left in the game.
Utah continued to gain momentum as it went on a 10-2 run to bring the score within four points. Toolson stopped the bleeding as he knocked down a pair of free throws and drained a 3-pointer to give the Cougars a nine-point cushion, 74-65.
The Utes went on its third major run of the second half outscoring BYU 10-2 to bring the score within one point for the first time since the opening moments of the game. Toolson made two free throws with 5:42 on the clock to give the Cougars a 78-75 edge.
Harding made it a two-possession game after making a 3-point basket to put BYU up 81-77. After losing Childs to injury with less than five minutes left in the game, the Cougars lost Haws and Nixon as the two fouled out of the game within a minute of each other. Shorthanded, BYU struggled to fend off Utah’s comeback and lost in overtime 102-95.
BYU will play UNLV at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 1 p.m. MST. The game will be televised on BYUtv and radio broadcasts will be available on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM and KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM.