PROVO — The Utah basketball team played its best overall game in a couple of weeks, but couldn't withstand a 12-0 run by Jimmer Fredette in a 2:28 stretch late in the second half as BYU took a 72-59 victory.
Fredette’s 12-0 run, which stretched to a 14-0 BYU run on a jumper by Brandon Davies with 6:05 left, turned out to be the difference in a 13-point final margin.
Two other stats that greatly favored the Cougars over the Utes were turnovers and free throws.
Utah, which ranks 322nd in the nation in turnover margin, had 18 turnovers on the night, compared with 10 for BYU, giving the Utes a minus-8 for the night. In free throw shooting, the Cougars hit 20 of 24 compared with 4 of 8 for the Utes, who shot under 60 percent from the line for the fifth straight game.
The Utes actually made more field goals than BYU with 25-on-57 attempts, compared with 24 for the Cougars on 55 attempts. The two teams were nearly identical in field-goal shooting percentage, 43.9 percent for Utah and 43.6 percent for BYU.
The Cougars, who are averaging nearly nine made 3-pointers per game and 11 at home, were held to just 4-of-12 on the night from 3-point range. The Utes weren't any better at 5-for-19.
BYU ended up winning the rebound battle 36-32, including a 19-12 edge in the second half.
Fredette was held below his season average of 27.5 ppg with 23 points and his 7-of-19 shooting from the field, 36.8 percent, was his third-worst shooting game of the season.
Utah got 18 points from Will Clyburn, 14 from Chris Kupets and 10 from J.J. O'Brien.