BYU 64 at Utah 81

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Utah beats BYU 81-64
JOHN COON (Associated Press) Sunday, Dec 15, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY (AP)—Jordan Loveridge scored 21 points and Delon Wright chipped in 16 on Saturday night to help Utah beat BYU 81-64, snapping a seven-game losing streak to the Cougars.

The Utes (9-1) had lost 11 of their last 12 games in the rivalry series dating to 2006.

Tyler Haws had 14 points to lead the Cougars (8-4) while Eric Mika chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds and Kyle Collinsworth added 12 points and nine boards.

BYU could not get into an offensive rhythm in either half. The Cougars shot just 32.8 percent (21 of 64) from the field, 26.3 percent (5 of 19) from distance and 54.8 percent (17 of 31) from the free-throw line.

Utah set the tone offensively and defensively from the opening tip.

Loveridge's hot shooting helped Utah race to a huge lead. He hit 6-of-8 shots in the game's first seven minutes and the Ute defense shut down the Cougar offense completely through the first half.

BYU just shot 31.4 percent (11 of 35) from the field in the first half and shot 41.7 percent (5 of 12) from the free-throw line.

Loveridge drained a pair of 3-pointers to help the Utes carve out a 10-2 lead. When BYU threatened to close the gap a few moments later, Loveridge found Dallin Bachynski for a pair of layups and sprinkled in three baskets of his own. His final basket in that sequence - a 3-pointer - pushed Utah's lead to 21-6 with 13:01 left before halftime.

Utah kept the gas pedal pressed down throughout the half. Three-pointers on three-straight possessions - including back-to-back baskets from reserve guard Parker Van Dyke - boosted the Utes' lead to 32-14 with 8:59 remaining.

BYU managed to trim the lead a little bit, twice cutting it to an 11-point margin. It happened the second time on a Mika jumper in the final minute, but Utah answered with a jumper from Wright that beat the buzzer to take a 42-29 halftime lead.

Momentum continued to favor Utah into the second half. The Utes opened by making baskets on three straight possessions, taking a 50-31 lead on a 3-pointer from Dakarai Tucker.

BYU made one last push to get back in the game and cut the lead to 51-38 after Mika made one of two free throws with 14:57 remaining. But Utah slammed the door shut on a comeback by ripping off a 7-0 run - culminating in a 3-pointer from Brandon Taylor - to take a 58-38 lead with 13:09 left.

The loss of Mika also hurt BYU's chances down the stretch. The freshman center was ejected after being called for a flagrant foul on Bachynski with 8:28 left in the game.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
Eric Mika Eric Mika
5-10,  12 Pts
10 Rebs, 2 Assists
Jordan Loveridge Jordan Loveridge
7-18,  21 Pts
6 Rebs, 5 Assists

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