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Men's Basketball Battles #18 BYU to the Bitter End Saturday Night

Nov 27, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men's basketball team fought tooth and nail Saturday night inside a raucous Jon M. Huntsman Center as the Utes suffered their first loss of the year to in-state rival #18/18 BYU 75-64.
Just like a heavyweight boxing match, both teams took turns taking punches with the Utes drawing first blood jumping out to a 7-0 run before the Cougars answered back with a 6-0 run of their own heading into the first media timeout (15:59). The middle part of first half stabilized a bit with Utah (5-1) holding a two-possession lead until BYU tied things up at 21-21 heading into the under-eight break.
With 59 seconds left to go, Lazar Stefanovic took a steal top of the key and got the Huntsman Center rockin' for the umpteenth time Saturday night with his one-handed slam as the Utes headed into the locker room with the 29-27 lead over the Cougars (6-0).

The visiting team started the second frame with a quick 4-0 run, including their first lead of the game at the 18:32 mark when Alex Barcello knocked down both of his free throws for the 31-29 edge. Like the first-half, Utah responded with a 5-0 run of its own that started with a thunderous two-handed put-back jam from Branden Carlson – who completed the three-point play before Rollie Worster gave Utah the 34-31 lead back. Shortly thereafter out of the 15:26 media break, BYU went on an 11-4 run to force a Ute timeout at the 11:06 mark down 48-40.

David Jenkins Jr. picked up his first points of the game at the 8:07 mark with a 3-pointer from the far wing before connecting again a couple sequences later to bring the Utes within 59-51 of BYU. The Runnin' Utes continued to chip away and got as close as 61-56 at the 5:45 mark after Jenkins Jr. knocked down all three free throws. Each time Utah thought it would have a momentum-shifting play down the stretch, the Cougars answered and kept it within two-possessions until the end when fouls and free throws extended that lead for BYU to hand Utah its first loss of the year.
Carlson ended the night with a team-high 17 points and six rebounds to go with three blocks while Worster added 13 points, six rebounds and five assists. Stefanovic tied his season-high 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

Utah is now 129-133 against BYU all-time and 76-52 when playing in Salt Lake City … this was Utah's first loss against BYU inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center since Dec. 10, 2011 … Utah is now 1-1 when losing the battle of the glass after being out-rebounded 45-28 … Utah allowed 18 offensive rebounds that turned into a 17-7 edge for BYU in second-chance points – including a 48-28 advantage in the paint … first time Utah has committed less than 10 turnovers (9) since Feb. 25, 2021 vs. #RV/RV UCLA (9).
Utah now hits the road for a quick up and back trip as it opens early Pac-12 play with a battle against USC, who is currently ranked No. 24 in the AP Poll, this Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 9:30 p.m. (MT) on Pac-12 Networks. Roxy Bernstein will once against have the call alongside Don MacLean inside the Galen Center.
For the latest news and information on the Runnin' Utes men's basketball program, fans can stay connected online at and on social media by following @UtahMBB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.