WAC Men's Basketball Recaps - Feb. 19
PROVO, Utah - (USU Media Relations) Junior guard/forward Spencer Butterfield had 21 points including two free throws to tie the game at 68-all in the final minute, but BYU’s Craig Cusick scored the winning basket with 0:00.2 remaining following an offensive rebound to lead the Cougars to a 70-68 home win against Utah State inside the Marriott Center Tuesday night.
Utah State, who also lost to Denver, 63-60, on a buzzer-beating three-pointer in overtime five days earlier, falls to 18-7 with the loss. BYU improves to 20-8 on the season with the win.
Butterfield added 14 rebounds for his sixth double-double in the last eight games, and added five assists Tuesday, as he shot 6-of-16 from the field, 2-of-8 from three-point range and 7-for-8 at the free throw line. Junior center Jarred Shaw added 13 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots, while junior guard Marvin Jean scored 11 points to go along with four rebounds and a season-high tying four assists. Sophomore center Jordan Stone added a career-high nine points to go along with a career-best four blocked shots.
Tyler Haws scored a game-high 27 points to lead BYU, while Brandon Davies and Brock Zylstra added 10 points apiece.
Trailing 60-51 with 7:54 to play, Utah State used an 11-4 run to close within 64-62 at the 3:58 mark. BYU extended its lead back to five at 68-63 with 1:48 to play only to see USU score five-straight points on a Jean three-pointer and Butterfield’s two free throws to tie the game with 0:57.1 seconds to play. However, BYU never gave up possession of the ball after that as they grabbed two offensive rebounds in the final 0:32 including one that led to the winning basket.
Utah State finished the game shooting 44.2 percent (23-of-52), including 23.8 percent from three-point range (5-of-21) and 63.0 percent at the free throw line (17-of-27). BYU shot just 35.2 percent (19-of-54), including just 19.0 percent from three (4-of-21), but shot 84.8 percent at the charity stripe (28-of-33). USU also out-rebounded BYU by six (39-33) and had six more blocked shots (8-2) to go along with four more assists (14-10), while also committing six more turnovers (18-12). The Aggies also had a 28-14 points in the paint advantage as well as a 14-10 bench points edge.
In the final 20 minutes, USU held BYU to just 26.7 percent shooting (8-of-30), including just 10.0 percent from three (1-of-10), as the Aggies out-scored the Cougars, 36-29, following intermission.
Utah State scored the first two points of the game on a steal and dunk by Shaw and led 4-3 after another Shaw basket. With the game tied at 7-all, BYU used a 6-0 run to go ahead 13-7 only to see USU score the next seven points to take its last lead of the game at 14-13 with 11:18 to play in the half. BYU answered USU’s run with a 12-1 scoring spurt to take its largest lead of the half at 25-15 with 7:49 remaining. Utah State closed to within five at 28-23 at the 4:38 mark on a pair of TeNale Roland free throws, but couldn’t get any closer as the home team went into halftime with a 41-32 advantage.
Shaw led Utah State with 11 first-half points as USU shot 44.0 percent from the field (11-of-25), 15.4 percent from three-point range (2-of-13) and 53.3 percent at the free throw line (8-of-15). Haws had 17 points to lead BYU in the first 20 minutes as the Cougars shot 45.8 percent (11-of-24), including 27.3 percent from behind the arc (3-of-11) and 80.0 percent at the line (16-of-20).
BYU held a lead of eight to 11 points for the first eight minutes of the second half and led 50-40 at the 13:32 mark before Utah State scored eight-straight points to get within two. BYU eventually pushed its lead back to nine at 60-51 with 7:54 to play before USU’s final push to tie the game at 68-all in the final minute.
Utah State will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 23 when it hosts Illinois State in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum at 7 p.m. in the annual ESPNU Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters.