Undersized BYU Out Muscled in Loss at No. 20 Utah | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Undersized BYU Out Muscled in Loss at No. 20 Utah

SALT LAKE -- Overpowered inside, BYU lost to 20th-ranked Utah Saturday in the Huntsman Center, 77-62. BYU is now 15-6 on the year and 4-4 in Mountain West Conference play while the Utes improved to 19-4 and 8-1.

Even though Utah played without starting forward Hanno Mottola, Utah's size advantage inside was evident as Ute big men Nate Althoff, Alex Jensen and Mike Puzey shot a combined 15-18 from the floor. BYU entered the game rated 11th in the nation and leading the conference in field goal percentage defense (38.1 percent), but thanks to Utah's strong post presence the Utes were able to hit on 56.3 percent of their attempts -- the best percentage by a BYU opponent all season. The Cougars shot 41 percent from the floor and were out rebounded 35-21.

BYU started the game strong and took a 19-8 lead on a Todd Christensen jumper at the 13.26 mark in the first half. The Cougars were able to connect from the perimeter against Utah's triangle-and-two defense with Mekeli Wesley scoring eight points including two threes and the seldom-shooting Matt Montague connected on only his third trey of the season.

But Utah adjusted defensively and BYU shot 2-13 as the Utes out scored the Cougars 18-3 over the next seven minutes and entered the break with a 35-30 advantage. Utah's Puzey, who was seeing more time with Mottola's absence, had eight points and five rebounds in the first half.

Nathan Cooper caught fire for the Cougars hitting three treys in a second-half run that brought BYU within 56-53 with 8:49 remaining. But like the first game between Utah and BYU when the Cougars failed to score in the final seven minutes, BYU again suffered a scoring drought and was outscored 21-9 the rest of the way, including a five-minute stretch without a Cougar point.

Alex Jensen scored eight of his 16 points during the second-half run that put the game away for the Utes. Utah had five players reach double figures, led by Jeremy Killion with 18.

Wesley and Terrell Lyday led BYU with 14 points while Cooper added 11. BYU's top two scorers, however, shot a combined 7-22 on the night. Wesley had six boards and Cooper and Lyday a team-best four assists.

The loss was BYU's 12th straight to Utah, who extended its home winning streak to 50 games, the longest active streak in the nation. Utah also hasn't lost a conference game at the Huntsman Center in more than four years. The Utes now own a 114-113 record against BYU -- the first time Utah has led the series in its 91-year history.

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

Brigham Young University vs University of Utah

2/12/00 7:07 at Salt Lake City, Utah

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VISITORS: Brigham Young University 15-6, 4-4 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

13 VRANES, Michael..... f 3-9 0-2 1-1 0 1 1 1 7 0 3 0 2 32

15 WESLEY, Mekeli...... f 3-11 2-4 6-8 0 6 6 4 14 1 3 0 1 36

25 NIELSEN, Eric....... c 2-4 0-1 0-0 1 1 2 5 4 1 0 0 1 18

24 LYDAY, Terrell...... g 4-11 1-4 5-8 0 2 2 2 14 4 2 0 1 34

31 MONTAGUE, Matt...... g 2-4 1-3 0-0 1 0 1 0 5 3 0 0 0 18

02 RIVERS, Silester.... 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 20

04 CHRISTENSEN, Todd... 3-5 1-3 0-0 0 1 1 1 7 1 0 0 0 16

42 COOPER, Nathan...... 4-7 3-4 0-1 2 2 4 3 11 4 1 0 2 23

50 NIELSEN, David...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3

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

Totals.............. 21-51 8-21 12-18 6 15 21 20 62 14 9 0 7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-28 .357 2nd Half: 11-23 .478 Game: .412 DEADBALL

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-12 .250 2nd Half: 5-9 .556 Game: .381 REBOUNDS

F Throw % 1st Half: 7-9 .778 2nd Half: 5-9 .556 Game: .667 2

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HOME TEAM: University of Utah 19-4, 8-1 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

35 JOHNSEN, Jeff....... f 1-3 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 1 2 0 0 24

50 JENSEN, Alex........ f 5-7 1-2 5-7 1 7 8 3 16 4 2 1 3 36

52 ALTHOFF, Nate....... c 6-7 0-0 3-4 2 3 5 3 15 0 0 0 0 31

05 HARVEY, Tony........ g 5-10 2-4 2-3 0 7 7 2 14 2 6 1 2 32

32 KILLION, Jeremy..... g 6-10 2-5 4-4 0 1 1 2 18 0 2 0 0 33

03 COLBERT, Gary....... 0-4 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 1 0 2 1 0 0 12

04 SHARP, Adam......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

25 SLUGA, Brandon...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

40 CULLEN, Phil........ 0-3 0-1 2-2 1 0 1 3 2 0 1 0 1 8

42 PUZEY, Mike......... 4-4 0-0 2-3 2 5 7 5 10 2 0 0 0 21

TEAM................ 4 4

Totals.............. 27-48 5-13 18-23 7 28 35 19 77 11 14 2 6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-28 .500 2nd Half: 13-20 .650 Game: .562 DEADBALL

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-7 .143 2nd Half: 4-6 .667 Game: .385 REBOUNDS

F Throw % 1st Half: 6-8 .750 2nd Half: 12-15 .800 Game: .783 4

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Officials: Larry Stubing, Mark Reischling, and Robert Staffen

Technical fouls: Brigham Young University-WESLEY, Mekeli; BENCH. University

of Utah-None.

Attendance: 15280

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Brigham Young University...... 30 32 - 62

University of Utah............ 35 42 - 77

Intentional Foul: Mikeli Wesley (BYU) 5:01-2nd