BYU stays undefeated, picks up rivalry road win at Utah


Box Score 

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Te’Jon Lucas tied a career-high and Caleb Lohner recorded his first career double-double as No. 18 BYU defeated Utah 75-64 for its first win at the Huntsman Center since Dec. 10, 2011.

“These rivalry games are always great,” said BYU head coach Mark Pope. “They are always emotional. You can throw the rankings and stats out of the window. Craig (Smith) is a terrific coach, and he is going to make the rivalry better. Our guys came in and fought hard.”

Lucas scored 18 points for the second straight game, going 8-of-10 from the floor, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range. Lohner grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds to go along with 10 points as the Cougars outrebounded the Utes 45-28. Alex Barcello reached double figures for the ninth straight game with 17 points, with Gavin Baxter chipping in 14.

The Cougars trailed for the entirety of the first half for the first time this season. Utah jumped out to a 7-0 lead before Barcello scored to get the Cougars on the board with a pull-up jumper and kickstarted a 6-0 run.

Lucas would connect on BYU’s only 3-pointer of the first half at the 14:26 mark, off an offensive rebound from Gideon George. Utah continued to shoot the ball well from downtown with Branden Carlson and Both Gach burying threes as the Cougars trailed by seven, 18-11.

Spencer Johnson gave BYU a boost off the bench with the junior guard scoring four points, including a pull-up jumper at 8:38 to cut the deficit to two, 21-19. The Cougars would hold the Utes without a basket for almost six minutes but were unable to take the lead.

Lucas scored the final two of his seven first half points on a contested layup to cut the deficit to two, 29-27, at halftime.

BYU scored the first four points of the second half to take its first lead of the game at 31-29. Utah responded with a 5-0 run to push its lead to 36-33 at the 17:22 mark.

Johnson continued to attack the basket with a driving layup that spearheaded a 6-0 run for the Cougars, as they pushed their lead to a then-game-high three, 39-36. Utah retook the lead on another 4-0 run on baskets from Carlson and Jaxon Brenchley.

A Lucas jumper at 13:28 was the start of a 13-2 run for the Cougars that pushed their lead to 11, 52-41, with less than 10 minutes to play. Lohner would score three straight points for the Cougars followed by a driving layup from Barcello. Baxter continued the run with a fastbreak layup. Carlson would go 1-of-2 from the charity stripe before George hit a long two followed by a dunk from Fousseyni Traore.

Lucas had an incredible three possessions for the Cougars as he hit a corner three, followed up by another jumper, before assisting on an alley-oop to Baxter.

The Utes would cut the lead to five, 61-56, with under six minutes remaining in regulation, but the Cougars' ability to get offensive rebounds kept them in the lead. Barcello sealed the game for the Cougars going 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the final two minutes to hand Pope his 50th victory at BYU.

The Cougars continue their three-game road trip on Wednesday against crosstown rival Utah Valley. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the UCCU Center.