Cougars Unable to Upend Streaking Utes

Rafael Araujo tied a team-high with 13 points on 6-for-12 shooting and had a team-high six rebounds against Utah Monday night. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

SALT LAKE -- In a match-up of the two top teams in the Mountain West Conference on ESPN's Big Monday, Utah (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP) got 44 points from Tim Frost and Nick Jacobson to continue its streaking play with a 71-64 win over BYU at the Huntsman Center. The loss drops the Cougars to 18-7 overall and 7-3 in the MWC, while Utah improves to 21-4 and 9-1 with a two game lead over BYU and Wyoming.

"It's never nice to lose, but I like the fact that we put ourselves in a position to win tonight," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "We had three or four opportunities to tie or win the game, but we didn't execute when we needed to."

Held to a 42 percent from the field and 26 percent from behind the arc, the Cougars stayed in the game by forcing the Runnin' Utes into 20 turnovers, one off their season high. BYU scored 23 points off the Utah turnovers, but Utah's stifling defense held the Cougar triumvirate of Rafael Araujo, Travis Hansen and Mark Bigelow to 38 points on 13-of-34 shooting.

After Utah scored first to take a 2-0 lead, BYU reeled off a 7-0 run to take its largest lead of the game, but the Utes turned around with a quick 6-0 run of their own to retake the lead at 8-7.

The two teams would battle for the lead as the first half unfolded, but the Utes started to pull away on threes by Frost, Richard Chaney and Nick Jacobson. The shot by Jacobson with 2:04 remaining in the first half saw the Utes lead bulge to nine points, 31-22. BYU would clamp down on the final four Utah possessions of the half, though, and went into the locker room on a 4-0 run to trail at the break 31-26.

"I was proud of our effort defensively and offensively, especially in the second half," Cleveland said. "We didn't have our best offensive night, but it wasn't for a lack of effort."

Utah, which improved to 64-2 in home conference games over the past nine seasons, came out in the second half with a 12-4 run to enjoy its largest margin at 43-30. BYU would chip away with timely baskets, but the Utes would seemingly answer almost every Cougar challenge. Bigelow hit a trey at 12:26 to draw the Cougars within eight at 43-35, but Jacobson would answer with his own three at 12:04.

After a Frost jump hook put the Utes up 51-40, the Cougars stormed back with a 7-0 run, behind two free throws by Hansen, a free throw by Kevin Woodberry and baskets from Araujo and Luiz Lemes to narrow the gap to four at 51-47 and forcing the Utes into a timeout.

Utah would then extend its lead back up to nine at 60-51, but a triple by Woodberry would draw the Cougars to within four again at 63-59. On the ensuing Utes possession Woodberry and Ricky Bower teamed up to strip Jacobson of the ball. Woodberry had a clear path to the basket but was fouled by Jacobson, sending him to the line where he made 1-of-2 free throws. The Ute lead was cut to three, but the Cougars couldn't get any closer as Utah sealed the game by making free throws down the stretch.

With the win Utah extended its MWC record by winning its ninth consecutive conference game, and also extended its home winning streak to 16 games. The Utes shot 44 percent from the field and three-point line as well as 92 percent from the free-throw line.

"We can't dwell on this loss, because we've got the biggest weekend of the year coming up," Cleveland said.

The Cougars finished the month of February 5-2, and will travel to play at Air Force Saturday at 4 p.m., and New Mexico next Monday at 7 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on KSL-TV by Sportswest Productions.

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

Brigham Young vs Utah

02/24/03 10:00 pm at Salt Lake City, Utah (Huntsman Center)

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VISITORS: Brigham Young 18-7, 7-3 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

02 HANSEN, Travis...... f 3-12 1-5 6-6 0 2 2 3 13 3 2 0 1 36

03 BIGELOW, Mark....... f 4-10 2-4 2-2 2 2 4 2 12 2 3 0 3 37

55 ARAUJO, Rafael...... c 6-12 0-1 1-2 2 4 6 5 13 1 1 0 1 25

14 BOWER, Ricky........ g 0-0 0-0 2-2 0 0 0 3 2 1 3 0 0 22

24 WOODBERRY, Kevin.... g 2-8 2-7 2-4 0 4 4 1 8 1 1 0 1 31

04 LEMES, Luiz......... 1-3 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 7

05 SHOFF, Jake......... 1-1 0-0 2-3 1 1 2 1 4 0 0 0 1 8

10 NASHIF, Terry....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 7

12 ROBERTS, Marc....... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 6

40 HOWARD, Dan......... 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 1 4

52 JENSEN, Jared....... 4-5 0-0 0-0 3 0 3 4 8 0 0 0 0 17

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

Totals.............. 22-53 5-19 15-19 10 17 27 22 64 8 13 0 9 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-26 38.5% 2nd Half: 12-27 44.4% Game: 41.5% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-9 22.2% 2nd Half: 3-10 30.0% Game: 26.3% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 4-5 80.0% 2nd Half: 11-14 78.6% Game: 78.9% 3

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HOME TEAM: Utah 21-4, 9-1 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

21 CATON, Trace........ f 1-5 1-4 2-2 1 0 1 3 5 1 2 0 0 33

31 JOHNSEN, Britton.... f 3-7 0-1 3-4 1 3 4 3 9 2 3 0 0 22

54 FROST, Tim.......... c 7-10 1-2 6-6 1 5 6 1 21 0 1 1 0 29

11 DRISDOM, Tim........ g 0-1 0-1 1-2 0 4 4 2 1 3 2 0 0 15

15 JACOBSON, Nick...... g 7-12 4-7 5-5 1 1 2 3 23 0 3 0 2 32

02 JACKSON, Marc....... 1-5 1-2 6-6 1 2 3 3 9 3 4 0 2 26

13 CHANEY, Richard..... 1-3 1-1 0-0 0 2 2 4 3 1 1 0 0 22

20 MARKSON, Bryant..... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 5

30 JACKSON, Chris...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 4

42 KOFORD, Cameron..... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 1 1 2 1 12

TEAM................ 4 4 8 2

Totals.............. 20-45 8-18 23-25 9 22 31 21 71 12 20 4 5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-19 52.6% 2nd Half: 10-26 38.5% Game: 44.4% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 6-9 66.7% 2nd Half: 2-9 22.2% Game: 44.4% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 5-5 100 % 2nd Half: 18-20 90.0% Game: 92.0% 1

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Officials: David Hall, Scott Thornley, Randy McCall

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

Attendance: 15148

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Brigham Young................. 26 38 - 64

Utah.......................... 31 40 - 71

Points in the paint-BY 26,UT 14. Points off turnovers-BY 23,UT 14.

2nd chance points-BY 19,UT 6. Fast break points-BY 0,UT 0.

Bench points-BY 16,UT 12. Score tied-2 times. Lead changes-8 times.

Tags: Results