Fredette scores 36, No. 12 BYU beats Utah 82-69

PROVO, Utah (AP) — Jimmer Fredette scored 36 points, including 23 in the second half, and No. 12 BYU built a big lead before holding off Utah 82-69 on Saturday night for its sixth victory in the last seven meetings between the longtime rivals.

Tyler Haws added 15 points and seven rebounds, and Jackson Emery finished with eight points, seven rebounds and six steals for BYU (21-2, 6-1 Mountain West).

Utah (10-11, 3-4) trimmed an 18-point deficit to four, but couldn't complete the comeback.

Jay Watkins led the Utes with 18 points and 11 rebounds, scoring 13 in the second half as Utah got more aggressive on both ends of the floor and got back in the game.

In an appropriately physical game for the Beehive State rivalry, players from both teams had to be separated after a scuffle on the baseline with 34 seconds left. Officials and coaches kept it from escalating.

Emery and Utah's Marshall Henderson had some words before an inbounds play after the Cougars had already wrapped up the win. Henderson flailed his arm as he walked away from Emery, who appeared to take the shot right on the chin and went down hard. BYU's Jonathan Tavernari immediately went after Henderson and had to be held back as both benches emptied.

It took a few minutes for the officials to sort it out, but in the end Henderson was ejected for a flagrant foul and both teams were calmed down enough for the postgame handshake.

Henderson, who was escorted to the locker room to keep any overzealous BYU fans from retaliating, scored 16 for the Utes.

Cougars fans celebrated by chanting "Just like football" after BYU thwarted Utah's rally. After shooting 50 percent in the first half, BYU was just 13 for 32 in the second and Utah slowly chipped away at the lead.

Henderson made a 3-pointer to get the Utes within 64-58, then Watkins got inside for a layup to cut the margin to four, but that was as close as it got.

Haws got a shot to bounce in, then Fredette converted a three-point play and BYU kept pulling away from there. The Cougars retained possession on a tie-up after another rumble in the lane with less than five minutes remaining. Emery shot an airball on a 3-pointer, but Haws saved it from going out of bounds and the Cougars took advantage on a 3-pointer by Fredette.

That put BYU ahead 72-63, then Fredette hit again from beyond the arc and BYU's lead was back up to 75-63.

BYU's white home uniforms were lined with pink trim and the Cougars wore pink basketball shoes in support of Coaches vs. Cancer. Coaches from both teams were wearing sneakers with their suits as part of the campaign to raise awareness to fight the disease.

The Cougars led 44-30 at halftime after shooting 51.5 percent and committing just two turnovers. Haws and Emery scored eight points apiece in the first 20 minutes.

(This version CORRECTS Utah's conference record)