BYU's NCAA Upset Hopes Fall at the Hands of UConn

Travis Hansen turns in 21 points and six rebounds in his final game as a Cougar. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

SPOKANE -- BYU's upset hopes fell short as the Cougars lost to the UConn Huskies, 58-53, in the first round of the 2003 NCAA tournament.

BYU suffers its worst offensive output of the year, making just 31.3 percent of its shots from the field. The Cougars scored a season-low 53 points but managed to slow the game down to control the Huskies, entering the half tied at 26-26.

UConn exploded out of the locker room in the second half as the Cougars appeared flat. The Huskies went on a 14-2 run out of the gate. Ben Gordon completed a three-point play and then drained a three the next trip down to extend the Huskies lead to 46-32 with 11:30 left.

Following a timeout, BYU settled down and turned up the defensive pressure, battling on the boards.

"We really competed well and hung in there. Defensively we did a great job securing the rebounds," said BYU Associate Head Coach Dave Rose. "We knew that we needed to do that to control their transition game."

The Cougars earned better looks at the basket and went on a 7-point run of their own, cutting the lead to 46-39 with 9:25 left.

Tough Cougar defense held the huskies scoreless for a stretch of over seven minutes that enabled BYU to cut the lead to five on a steal by Kevin Woodberry and his layup at the other end.

Woodberry then pulled up in transition and nailed a three to trim the lead to just two points with 2:20 to play in the game. Following a steal by Hansen of UConn's Gordon, BYU looked inside to Araujo who was blocked by Okafor and the ball was saved by the Huskies.

That was the Cougars last chance as UConn made free throws to finish off BYU and the Cougars' hopes of busting brackets all across the country.

BYU matched the rebound effort of UConn; each team grabbing 41 boards. The Cougars turned in its worst shooting from behind the arc all season on just 2-of-17.

"We felt like we had a good chance and we played hard, but UConn is a very good team and they play very emotional basketball," Rose said.

The Huskies struggled at times on offense due to great defensive pressure by BYU. The Cougars held UConn to 32.7 percent shooting for the game.

Okafor was a great presence for the Huskies inside, swatting shots and changing others. The big man finished the game with 20 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks. Gordon finished the game with 14 points on 4-of-12 shooting. Hansen, as he has done all season for BYU, played excellent defense to hold Gordon five points below his average.

Hansen was the leading scoring for either team with 21 points and six rebounds. Mark Bigelow, playing for the first time in his home state since his freshman year, scored 12 points on just 4-of-15 shooting, including 1-for-7 behind the arc.

Jake Shoff played tough defensive minutes before fouling out with six points, while Rafael Araujo was just 2-of-12 from the floor and totaled six points and eight rebounds.

BYU finished the season with an impressive 23-9 record and a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season championship. The Cougars lose just one player, Travis Hansen, who finishes his career 24th on BYU's all-time scoring list with 1,237 points in his injury-shortened three seasons.

Official Basketball Box Score -- GAME TOTALS -- FINAL STATISTICS

Brigham Young vs Connecticut

3/20/03 11:40 a.m. at Spokane Arena; Spokane, Wash.

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VISITORS: Brigham Young 23-9

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

03 Bigelow, Mark....... f 4-15 1-7 3-4 2 3 5 2 12 3 1 0 3 36

05 Shoff, Jake......... f 3-4 0-0 0-0 3 2 5 5 6 0 0 0 1 22

55 Araujo, Rafael...... c 2-11 0-1 2-2 1 7 8 4 6 2 4 0 0 32

02 Hansen, Travis...... g 8-21 0-3 5-5 1 5 6 3 21 2 0 2 2 36

24 Woodberry, Kevin.... g 2-7 1-4 0-0 0 4 4 2 5 4 4 0 2 32

04 Lemes, Luiz......... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 7

10 Nashif, Terry....... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 8

14 Bower, Ricky........ 0-1 0-1 1-2 1 1 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 4

40 Howard, Dan......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 6

52 Jensen, Jared....... 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 2 2 0 0 1 0 17

TEAM................ 6 6 2

Totals.............. 20-64 2-17 11-13 15 26 41 22 53 11 11 4 8 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-33 33.3% 2nd Half: 9-31 29.0% Game: 31.3% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-9 11.1% 2nd Half: 1-8 12.5% Game: 11.8% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 3-4 75.0% 2nd Half: 8-9 88.9% Game: 84.6% 2

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HOME TEAM: Connecticut 22-9

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

11 Armstrong, Hilton... f 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 4

33 Brown, Denham....... f 3-6 1-4 0-0 1 2 3 3 7 0 0 0 0 20

50 Okafor, Emeka....... c 8-13 0-0 4-5 4 4 8 1 20 0 0 7 1 36

04 Gordon, Ben......... g 4-12 2-5 4-5 0 1 1 3 14 2 4 0 0 33

12 Brown, Taliek....... g 0-7 0-0 6-10 1 5 6 3 6 3 3 0 1 31

20 Brown, Justin....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

23 White, Marcus....... 1-3 0-0 6-7 2 7 9 2 8 0 2 0 1 28

25 Hayes, Mike......... 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 1 0 1 0 0 0 10

30 Tooles, Shamon...... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2

31 Anderson, Rashad.... 1-5 1-3 0-0 0 3 3 1 3 0 1 0 0 16

32 Robertson, Tony..... 0-4 0-2 0-0 1 3 4 1 0 2 2 0 0 19

TEAM................ 2 1 3

Totals.............. 17-52 4-14 20-27 12 29 41 16 58 8 14 8 3 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 9-27 33.3% 2nd Half: 8-25 32.0% Game: 32.7% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-7 28.6% 2nd Half: 2-7 28.6% Game: 28.6% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 6-9 66.7% 2nd Half: 14-18 77.8% Game: 74.1% 4

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Officials: Tom O'Neill, Art McDonald, Joe DeMayo

Technical fouls: Brigham Young-None. Connecticut-None.

Attendance:

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Brigham Young................. 26 27 - 53

Connecticut................... 26 32 - 58

NCAA Tournament First Round - South Region

No. 12 BYU vs. No. 5 Connecticut

Connecticut's Emeka Okafor sets Spokane Arena record with 7 blocked shots

Points in the paint-BY 22,UCONN 12. Points off turnovers-BY 18,UCONN 17.

2nd chance points-BY 9,UCONN 11. Fast break points-BY 0,UCONN 0.

Bench points-BY 3,UCONN 11. Score tied-3 times. Lead changes-8 times.

Tags: Results