SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah State lost a 68-64 decision against BYU in the final installment of the Beehive Classic on Saturday night, inside Vivint Smart Arena the home of the NBA’s Utah Jazz.
Junior forward Alphonso Anderson was one of a quartet of Aggies that turned in double figures, finishing with a team-best 14 points, followed by junior guard Abel Porter with 13, senior guard Sam Merrill with 11 and sophomore center Neemias Queta also with 11. Queta narrowly missed a double-double, pulling down a season-high nine rebounds in a season-high 23 minutes, while sophomore forward Justin Bean led the Aggies on the glass with a game-high-tying 10 rebounds.
Utah State scored the opening basket of the game, but BYU countered with three consecutive buckets from behind the 3-point line to take a 9-2 lead. The Cougar advantage carried into the half with BYU leading 35-28.
The Aggies trimmed the BYU lead to one with less than two minutes to play as Queta knocked down a pair of free throws. Bean rejected a shot by BYU’s Yoeli Childs on the next Cougar possession, and the Aggies had a chance to take the lead, but missed a layup and then a putback with less than a minute to play. A final three by BYU with 27 seconds remaining led to the final 68-64 score line.
Utah State finished the game shooting 40.0 percent (22-of-55) from the floor, 27.3 percent (6-of-22) from behind the 3-point line and 87.5 percent (14-of-16) at the free throw line. The Aggie bench was outscored for the first time this season, logging 13 points to 14 points scored by the Cougar reserves.
Utah State returns to action on Wednesday in its second of three-straight neutral-site games, facing South Florida inside the Toyota Center, home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets. The contest is scheduled to tip at 5:45 p.m. (MT) and can be watched live on ESPN3.