I'm talking, of course, about the BYU/Utah State game which the Cougars won, 78-72.
It was such a good game, in fact, that I'm here to write about it just minutes after arriving home. I've got the post-game show on the radio and I'm ready to get right into this thing.
First, I've got to give it up for Utah State. The Aggies bring it every single game, and they are fighters to the very end. They don't give up, they don't get intimidated and they're a team full of scrappy, well-coached players. Not only that, but they are a bad matchup for BYU. Plain and simple. Their post game just rolled over us today.
Utah State is an excellent team, and beating them was huge. It was a really good way to start the season, and I hope Utah State wins every single game from here on out.
Let's talk about some of the game's heroes.
First off, I thought Noah Hartsock was incredible. Especially down the stretch. He played pretty good defense all night against a terrific Aggie low post game, and his contributions at the rim, on the boards and at the free throw line can't be overstated. Once in particular, with less than a minute to play, he chased down an errant shot and batted it back to Jackson Emery preserving a crucial shot clock reset. That won't show up on the stat sheet, but it was one of the biggest plays of the game.
Speaking of Emery, I was really proud of that guy tonight. He had a rough first half, plagued with fouls, but he came out in the second and decided he was going to leave his mark on the game. He hit a quick three, followed by a lay-in, and then a three-point-play in a big stretch to start the second half. He was aggressive and made a big difference for our guys (taking pressure off Jimmer, who was our only real scorer in the first half, for example).
For Utah State, I've got to give credit to Toadstool
Also known as Brian Green.
Who is this smush-faced little guy? Whoever he is, he personally put a plug in every big BYU run with his deadly three point shooting. I can't believe how well he--and all the Aggies--shot from the three point line.
In the "Villains" category, I've got to give that credit to the refs. That officiating was just… plain… AWFUL (I'm sure USU fans feel the same way. Funny how that works, eh?)
Finally, let's hear it for Jimmer. That guy is not human. He got mugged every single time he touched the ball, yet still managed to impose his will and score a game-high 26 points. Jimmer, in the words of a great poet: I'm never gonna give you up.
Great work Cougs! Be safe driving through Sardine Canyon, Ags.