Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — In what could only be described as an ugly game, BYU came out on top 61-42 over Utah Saturday afternoon at the Huntsman Center.
The Utes gave the Cougars their best effort for most of the first half and in the early stages of the second half before the Cougars took control with a late surge.
Grades are in for every position group on both sides.
It took a while for Noah Hartsock to get going, but he came on big during the second half, proving to once again be the best player on the court of the Cougars. Overall, he finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.
Brandon Davies didn’t have a big impact in being limited by foul trouble throughout the game, while only accounting for a single field-goal. Overall, he finished with just three points and seven rebounds, which was surprising considering the early frontcourt foul trouble for the Utes.
Nate Austin made his presence known early with a three-point basket, but then went quiet, ending with just three points and five rebounds.
Jason Washburn wasn’t able to make much of an impact, getting into early foul trouble and scoring only a single bucket on 1-of-5 shooting. He recorded two blocked shots, but was dominated on the boards by BYU’s bigs, pulling down only two rebounds for the entire game.
Dijon Farr didn’t fare much better with his 1-of-8 shooting and three points. He did pull down six rebounds, but wasn’t able to make any sort of impact.
Utah was able to limit what the Cougar frontcourt was able to do offensively for long stretches in the game, playing some tough and effective interior defense.
Charles Abouo wasn’t a factor until the midway point of the second half which was when he attempted his first shot of the afternoon. He sparked BYU’s late surge, however, ending the game with 11 points.
Both Brock Zylstra and Stephen Rogers had rough outings, combining for 4-of-14 shooting and 11 points. Rogers was able to provide some big baskets early, but all but disappeared during the second half of play.
DaMarcus Harrison entered the game early in the first half, but made little impact, finishing the game with just three points on a late 3-point basket.
The Utes do deserve some credit for limiting what the Cougar wings did on offense, but they didn’t provide much of an impact on the offensive end.
Cedric Martin and Kareem Storey were both able to contribute six points a piece, but that was about it from the Ute wing position players.
Anson Winder struggled mightily with 0-of-5 shooting and two turnovers in just 12 minutes of play. The flow of the game, with Utah using almost every single second of the shot clock on most possessions, didn’t favor his aggressive style of play.
The flow of the game did favor the style of play of Craig Cusick, and he responded with 10 points and six assists, providing a much needed spark for the Cougars off the bench. If Hartsock wasn’t the best player on the court of the Cougars, then Cusick was.
Jiggy Watkins provided most of the offense for the Utes, finishing with 14 points and five assists, but when 1-of-6 from the foul line. Chris Hines, meanwhile, had a game he’d sooner just forget about, finishing with 0-of-4 shooting in his 17 minutes of play.
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