Utes win over No. 14 BYU first win over ranked Cougars since 1993

Jaxson Robinson makes reverse lay-up in 73-69 loss against Utah Saturday night at the Huntsman in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo Courtesy of BYU Men's Basketball/ BYU Athletics

Salt Lake City –

A sold out Huntsman of majority Utah Utes fans were in attendance to watch the arguably the biggest game in the state of Utah this year as, No. 14 BYU travelled less than hour to face rival Utah.

The Runnin’ Utes would defeat No. 14 BYU 73-69 at the Huntsman Center Saturday night in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Late game catastrophe would occur in the last two minutes of the game. Utah (7-2) had a five point with less than a minute left to play. Former BYU guard Hunter Erickson would dribble into a trap and turn the ball over. Richie Saunders would bury a 3-pointer, which made the game a one possession and a score of 71-69.

BYU’s Dallin Hall has made big shot after big shot going back to last year as Freshman. Mark Pope would turn to the sophomore guard to answer the call to potentially give the Cougars’ an opportunity or to tie with 9.9 seconds left.

Hall tried to answer the call but Utah’s Keba Keita hung up the phone forcing Hall to dribble the ball off his foot and out of bounds. Rollie Worster would ice the game, after hitting two free throws, which handed No. 14 BYU (8-0) its first loss of the season.

Seniors’ Gabe Madsen and Branden Carlson lead Utah to its first win over a ranked BYU team for the first time since 1993.

The two combined for 12-of-24 shooting from the field, and over 40% from 3-point range. Madsen had the shot of the game with a side step ankle breaker 3-pointer on BYU’s Richie Saunders to give the Utes 71-64 lead with less than one minute left to play.

The Cougars’ leading scorer Jaxson Robinson scored his average of 17 points while recording one rebound and one assist, but was awfully quiet in Saturday’s game against the Utes. Robinson pasted up shots and scoring opportunities multiple times throughout the game, which is uncharacteristic of his play.

Robinson has averaged 17 points per game on 48% shooting from the field, while shooting 44% from 3-point range.

Craig Smith’s team helped Robinson to 3-of-8 shooting from the 3-point range on 38% percent shooting. One of those 3-pointers would be another and-1 three.

“They put a lot of pressure on you when you’re attempting 40 threes. That guy can get it going…He is so long, and just so smooth. His touch around the basket, some of his finishes around the basket…the scouting report is you have to be there on the touch.” Utah coach Craig Smith said.

“You can’t waste, you think you have him guarded, but because of his quick release and his length he just shoots over people. That was a big key to this game. You have to get tighter than you think and make him put it on the deck, even though he’s good at that too , he’s shooting at such an elite level, you have to pick your poison.” Smith also finished his comment about Robinson.

The same thing that happened to BYU against Utah is the same thing that happened last year when they played Gonzaga and St. Mary’s at the Marriott Center. 

Two words…. free throws.

In all three of those games BYU shot less than 60% from the charity stripe. They are free. Gotta make them.

Former BYU coach Chris Burgess had the scout tonight according to Utah head coach Craig Smith. Burgess likewise had the scout last year when the Utes played BYU down in Provo at the Marriott Center.

Advantage Burgess. Chris Burgess’s scout came through Saturday night as it held the No. 1 ranked 3-point shooting team to its’ worst shooting game of the season at 23%.

This rivalry will continue between both of these teams as future conference foe Utah will be entering the Big 12 next July. Conference basketball play means BYU and Utah will face each other twice in the same season. Nevertheless, fans have something to look forward to in the near future.

BYU falls to 8th in the KenPom rankings and will surely fall in the AP Top-25 come Monday December 11th.

BYU will host Denver at the Marriott Center on Wednesday December 15th in Provo, Utah. Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm MT. The game will be live at ESPN+.

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