Four games were played in the BYU-Idaho Center this past Saturday. The Knights defeated the Wolverines, 87-71; the Wildcats beat the Spartans, 103-79; the Titans took down the Vikings, 98-95; the Hurricanes beat the Bruins, 112-81.

Knights vs. Wolverines

At 10 a.m. on Court 4, the Knights won their third game and defeated the Wolverines. The teams went back and forth in the first half, both relying on their defense.

The Knights got out in transition early, which led to an and-one opportunity that gave them a 22-15 lead.

They only led by two after the first quarter due to a last-second three-pointer by Roy Topou.

The second quarter was much like the first. The score totaled 28-28 with six minutes left. The teams kept trading baskets and Wolverine Ru Ding blocked a last-minute three-pointer to keep the Knights’ lead at two. The Knights led at halftime 38-36.

The second half belonged to the Knights. They went on a 13-5 run to start the third quarter and never looked back. The Knights kept the engine running and led 64-52 after the third.

Both teams picked up the intensity in the fourth, but the Wolverines were stunted by the defense of the Knights. The Knights came away with an 87-71 victory. They won three games in a row.

“Oh, it was all a team effort,” said Knight Forward Karson Lloyd. “We talked at halftime to get going. We were forcing silly things … and not kicking it around. That was the main thing we focused on, was how to pass the ball and collapse the defense.”

Wildcats vs. Spartans

On Court 8, at 10 a.m., the Wildcats stomped on the Spartans. The Wildcats used crafty screens, sharp cuts and deadeye shooting to take down the no-longer undefeated Spartans.

It was 12-3 in favor of the Wildcats with 6:13 left in the first quarter. The Spartans got back in the game, but the Wildcats responded with an 11-0 run and led 28-12 after the first quarter.

Wildcat Isaac Stoner knocks down a three in the first quarter versus the Spartans.
Wildcat Isaac Stoner knocks down a three in the first quarter versus the Spartans. Photo credit: Trey Wilkinson

After a high post touch that led to a spinning hook shot for Wildcat Tyler Torrins, the lead was 34-17. They continued to build on their lead and were up 54-24 at halftime.

The Spartans came alive in the second half, especially offensively, but the Wildcats kept shooting. The Wildcats led going into the last 10 minutes of the game.

The Spartans made a valiant effort to come back, but individual plays from Wildcats Chapman Tagg and Konnor Jackson stifled the comeback. Tagg hit three three-pointers in the fourth quarter, and Jackson contributed with a block on defense before running down to hit a jump hook on offense. The Wildcats finished with a 103-79 victory.

“I would say they were very hot,” said Logan Thompson, the Spartan head coach, after the game. “I think they’re a good team. But I think we could’ve won. We just weren’t on. We did come back in the second half — but in the first half we just weren’t awake.”

Titans vs. Vikings

At noon on Court 4, the Titans got their first win of the season against the still-winless Vikings. The Titans hit three three-pointers in the first two minutes to take a 9-0 lead. The Vikings responded quickly with multiple transition baskets in a row to cut the lead to two, 12-10 Titans. The Titans led 26-21 after the first quarter.

The Vikings started the second quarter with a 6-0 run, but that was stymied after a converted and-one by Titan Justin Radford that gave them back the lead, 29-27. The game went back and forth for the remainder of the half, and the Vikings were up 41-40 entering halftime.

Titan Kolby Wilding hit a step-back three to start the second half. A few minutes later, Titan Jacob Richins made back-to-back floaters and the Titans led 55-51 with four minutes left in the third. The Vikings clawed back, with Kobe Garrick making a buzzer-beater layup to tie the game at 63 at the end of the third quarter.

The Titans were up 73-68 with seven minutes left in the game, but Titan Tyson Doman went down with an injury, and the Vikings started returning again. Garrick scored five straight to give the Vikings a 79-77 lead, and the Titans decided to call a timeout.

After the timeout, Richins grabbed an offensive rebound and scored a layup. He was fouled on the play and hit the free throw to give the Titans an 84-81 lead with three minutes left. But Viking Jayden Kunz hit two threes and the score was knotted at 87 with 2:23 left in the game.

Viking Benji Felix converted an and-one to gain a two-point lead, but Richins answered right back to tie it at 90. Kunz hit another three, but Titan Justin Radford responded with a three of his own to tie it, and his teammate Kolby Wilding hit a three shortly after to give the Titans a 96-95 lead. Richins hit two free throws and the game belonged to the Titans.

Hurricanes vs. Bruins

The last game of the day was between the Hurricanes and Bruins. This game belonged to the Hurricanes — especially Hurricane Tyler Shippen. The game started with Shippen hitting two threes in the first two minutes of the game.

The game opened up with 11-4 runs for both teams, tying it at 15. However, the Hurricanes led 21-19 after the first.

The second quarter started with the teams fighting back and forth, but the Hurricanes finished stronger and led 44-35 after the second quarter after a last-second three by Shippen.

Shippen started the second half like he ended the first half. On three straight plays early in the third quarter, Shippen drove and assisted on a basket, then took a charge on the defensive end and then again on offense turned the corner and drove along the baseline for a reverse layup. It was 60-47 Hurricanes after this showing from Shippen. The Hurricanes stayed hot and took a 79-58 lead into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter changed nothing about the outcome — the Hurricanes ended up beating the Bruins 112-81.

“I think we have the best defensive team in the league,” Shippen said, speaking on how the Hurricanes have managed to stay undefeated with a point differential of +24.75. “It doesn’t hurt that we have a lot of good shooters and a lot of … smart ball-players as well, but I think we play better defense than anyone else.”

He also mentioned which NBA players he tries to model.

“I’ve watched a lot of Steph and I’ve watched a lot of Dame,” Shippen said.

To find the up-to-date league standings click here.

Games will continue next Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10 and 11, at the BYU-Idaho Center.