BYU snaps SLC losing streak

13 was the lucky number for BYU. The Cougars snapped a 12-game road losing streak against the Utes. They upended Utah 76-67 on Wednesday night.

Keena Young scored 21 points to lead the Cougars. Young made two buckets in the final 3:00 to seal the win for BYU.

It was their first win in the Huntsmen Center since 1994.

Like Nevill led all scorers with 26 points. Ricky Johns added a career-high 18 points, but no other Ute got into double figures.

BYU broke the game open with a 15-4 second half run. The Utes added a 9-0 run of their own, but could get no closer than nine.

The win allowed the Cougars to move into a first place tie in the Mountain West Conference with Air Force and UNLV.

Quotes

Utah Head Coach Ray Giacoletti
"It's very cut and dried until we defend a little bit better. Kenny Young may be the best player in the league right now, I don't know who can defend him, and he just scores it well. We had two guys who gave a great effort, Luke Nevill and Ricky Johns. Right now we need to go back to working defensively and that's it. BYU is a very good basketball team and might be playing as good as anybody in this league."

Utah Senior Guard Ricky Johns
"I wish we could have gotten the win tonight and beat the Cougars in our home gym. We just have to come and play basketball and practice to get better everyday, and be able to get stops. BYU came out really aggressive in the second half, drained a few 3's and they just kept it going." BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
On beating Utah after a 12-game losing streak in Salt Lake City: "There are just certain things you want to do as a program, and obviously when you have a rival team, it's hard to get that done."

"We got really good help from our bench, but deffensively we weren't able to stop Luke [Nevill], but I think we were able to make him work really hard to make his baskets. At the beginning of the second half, Jimmy [Balderson] came in and hit the two big threes, which got us going in the half with good momentum. I think that Jonathan [Tavernari] kept us going in the middle of the half to finish."

Notes

- Utah and BYU met for the 243rd time. The Utah vs. BYU series ranks 10th among NCAA Division I rivalries in the number of games played. The Cougars are the Utes' oldest rivals in a series that dates back to a 32-9 win by BYU on Jan. 23, 1909 in Provo, Utah.

- The Utes had their lead in the all-time series cut to 124-119. Before the loss tonight, Utah had won 22 of the last 27 meetings, eight of the last 10, and two in a row against BYU.

- BYU broke a 12-game losing streak in Salt Lake City, where the Utes now have a 72-47 advantage. BYU's last win in Salt Lake City was 64-62 on Jan. 8, 1994.

- BYU had its first double-digit win in Salt Lake City since getting an 87-73 win (14 points) on March 7,1992.

- Utah was outrebounded for just the sixth time this season, falling to 2-4 in those games.

- The Utes shot at least 50 percent from the field for the ninth time this season, falling to 5-4 in those games.

- The Utes fell to 0-8 when an opponent shoots at least 50 percent from the field this season.

- Sophomore forward Luke Nevill had a season-high 26 points. It was his seventh 20-point game of the season and the ninth of his career. He also had his 18th double-figure scoring game this year and his third in a row.

- Luke Nevill equaled his highest scoring first half of the season with 13 points. He also had 13 against Southern Utah (Nov. 10) and Cal Poly (Dec. 16).

- Senior guard Ricky Johns had a career-high 18 points. Johns, who made his fifth consecutive start tonight, had his third double-figure scoring game of the season and his third in the last four games.


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