SALT LAKE CITY — BYU and Utah State faced off in the final game of the Beehive Classic and turned in the kind of game one would expect from a pair of teams separated by five spots in Ken Pomeroy's rating system.
Alex Barcello nailed a corner 3-pointer with 26 seconds left and BYU survived in a 68-64 decision Saturday night at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
The final 5 minutes came against the backdrop of Utah State going nearly 8 minutes without a field goal, missing 12 straight shots after cutting the game to 50-49.
But Sam Merrill's baseline jumper ended the drought and the Cougars hadn't capitalized on the opportunity as Merrill's score made it 57-54 with 5:29 left.
Justin Bean scored in the paint on consecutive possessions for the Aggies and later blocked Yoeli Childs at the rim to give USU a chance to take the lead with 1:15 remaining.
But after a timeout, Dalton Nixon blocked Bean in the paint and Neemias Queta missed a short putback attempt after an offensive rebound.
That's when Barcello filtered through USU's defense after a pass and found himself alone in the corner when no Aggie followed him. He took a half-step off his pivot to set himself, raised up and buried the 3.
Merrill then missed a turnaround jumper with 14 seconds left in USU's last chance to stay in the game.
The victory is BYU's eighth consecutive win against USU and made the Cougars 3-0 in the short history of the Beehive Classic.
Childs led BYU (9-4) with 20 points and 10 rebounds. TJ Haws scored 16 with four 3-pointers and Barcello scored seven points, five of them in the final 2 minutes.
Alphonso Anderson led Utah State (10-2) with 14 points and Abel Porter scored 13 while shooting 3 of 4 from deep. Merrill struggled from the field, shooting 2 of 10, and finished with 11 points.
USU star center Queta finished with 11 points and nine rebounds in 23 minutes, his longest stint of the season while working back from an offseason knee injury.
BYU next hosts Weber State in a week while Utah State hits the road to play South Florida and Florida.