L.J. Rose did his best Kyle Collingsworth impression Wednesday night.
The senior had 18 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists in BYU’s 77-63 win over Utah State, and came through when the cold-shooting Cougars needed him most.
Rose opened up a tight game midway through the second half with six points and an alley-oop to Eric Mika over a two minute stretch. He then hit a three with just over four minutes left in the game to cool an Aggie run.
BYU withstood a 35.2 percent night as a team from the floor, including a 3-of-15 effort from Nick Emery, mainly due to second chances. The Cougars picked up 23 offensive boards and out-rebounded the Aggies by 24.
The win was an important one for Dave Rose.
He got the best game of sophomore forward Braiden Shaw’s career (10 points, 5 rebounds) with Kyle Davis sidelined with a knee injury. More importantly, the win stopped a two-game slide ahead of a trip to USC.
Utah State got a strong effort from Jalen Moore (15 points), but in the end didn’t get enough from its talented backcourt duo, as Koby McEwen and Shane Rector were held in check. This came just a few days after Utah Valley’s guards torched the BYU defense in Provo.
The Aggies will likely need a spectacular MWC run to get into the NCAA picture. The loss follows non-competitive outings against Texas Tech and Purdue, and there aren’t any marquee non-con games left on the schedule.
Utah State is back in action Saturday at home against Indiana State, while Cougars travel to Los Angeles to play USC that same day.