SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Brandon Davies scored a career-high 21 points and Michael Loyd Jr. added 18 as No. 14 BYU beat Utah 71-51 on Wednesday night, giving the Cougars their third sweep of the state rivalry in the last four seasons.
BYU held Utah scoreless for a stretch of 8:35 between the end of the first half and early in the second, turning a close game into one of the bigger blowouts in the long history of the rivalry.
The Cougars (27-4, 12-3 Mountain West) were able to celebrate their seventh win over the Utes in the last eight meetings, but BYU's streak of three straight regular-season conference titles ended earlier in the night when No. 8 New Mexico clinched the championship with a win over TCU.
Kim Tillie had 11 rebounds for the Utes (14-15, 7-8), but no Utah player scored in double figures.
Chris Hines came closest with nine points for the Utes, who finished 14 for 52 from the floor and never recovered from committing 13 turnovers in the first half.
The Utes protected the ball better after halftime, but missed their first 12 shots as Davies continued his career night. Davies, a freshman, had never scored more than 14 this season. He went 7 of 9 from the field and pulled down seven rebounds.
Loyd was coming off a career high of 19 points — all in the second half — in Saturday's loss to New Mexico. He did all of his scoring in the first half Wednesday.
The Cougars had won at least a share of the last three regular-season Mountain West titles, but hopes for a fourth all but ended Saturday with a loss at home to the Lobos, who will be the No. 1 seed in next week's conference tournament. BYU will be the second seed in Las Vegas.
BYU closed the first half on a 5-0 run, then scored the first 12 points of the second half as the Utes were missing even on layups.
BYU's lead at halftime was only 36-24, so fans were still into it early in the second half, but that didn't last long. Utah fans barely got the second word of an "air-ball" chant out before Davies picked up the loose ball outside the lane and made a short jumper to put BYU up 41-24.
Utah was just 6 for 21 in the first half and missed its first 12 shots in the second as BYU was able to double the Utes' point total. Utah went without a field goal from David Foster's layup with 4:59 left in the first half until Hines' jumper with 12:38 remaining in the game.
Utah's only points during the drought came from the foul line. Tillie finally ended Utah's scoreless slump with two free throws with 14:08 left, drawing a mock cheer from fans of both schools. There was little else to cheer — BYU was leading 48-24 when Tillie went to the line.