Senior Travis Hansen recorded his second double-double of the year with 21 points and 12 rebounds. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- BYU fell to the University of Utah at home Saturday, 79-75, snapping the nation's longest homecourt winning streak at 44 games.
On hand was the Cougars' largest crowd of the year -- 21,412. BYU's last loss in the Marriott Center was a 78-74 victory by New Mexico on Feb. 17, 2000.
Utah guard Mark Jackson hit four free throws in the final 18.7 seconds to seal the victory for the Utes, who played the game without head coach Rick Majerus. The Utah coach was attending the funeral of former Utah player Andre Miller's stepfather.
Jackson led Utah in scoring with 17 points, including 13-for-13 from the free throw line.
"It felt really good to win this game. Coach Majerus did a great job putting together a game plan and the players executed it well," said Utah assistant coach Kerry Rupp, who guided the Utes in Majerus' absence.
In a game so closely played, neither team held a lead of more than seven points. It came down to the free throw line where the Utes eventually put the game away.
"I've never seen Utah play better this season than they played today at both ends of the floor," said BYU head coach Steve Cleveland. "I will give them full credit."
The Utes held on to a three-point lead courtesy of a Nick Jacobson trey in the final seconds. Jacobson led the way for Utah in the first half, scoring the team's last seven points of the half.
The second half was as tightly played as the first. The two teams traded buckets most of the final period leading up to the dramatic finish and Jackson's four charity tosses.
The Cougars cut the Utah lead to two, 77-75, on a jam by Araujo, but had to foul and Jackson knocked down two more for the Utes.
Travis Hansen led BYU with his second double-double of the season with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Hansen made a career-high 14 free throws, missing only once,making many of those late in the game to counter Ute baskets.
Rafael Araujo was one rebound away from a double-double performance of his own with 19 points and nine boards. Mark Bigelow added three more treys to his total (148) and scored 16 points while Ricky Bower added 10.
"I didn't feel like we played poorly at any time, I just felt like there were times late in the game when we didn't take care of the ball," Cleveland said. "You have got to do those things to win close ball games."
Utah big man Tim Frost scored 16 points including two big threes, stretching BYU's defense. Jacobsen finished with 13 and Britton Johnsen totaled 12 points and 12 rebounds. Utah freshman forward Bryant Markson played only seven minutes but scored six points in the second half to help the Utes stay on top.
With the win Utah improves to 14-4 overall and 2-1 in the Mountain West Conference. Utah also takes a one-game lead in the overall series record against BYU at 117-116.
BYU falls to 2-1 in the MWC and 13-5 overall. The Cougars will now prepare for next Saturday's game against New Mexico at 1 p.m.