Victory Over Utah Extends Winning Streak

Junior guard Mike Hall made 8-of-10 shots to score a game-high 21 points in BYU's win over Utah. The Cougars have won seven straight games. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The NCAA postseason hopes are alive and well in Provo after the Cougars downed Utah 70-57 on ESPN's Big Monday and grabbed a hold on second-place in the Mountain West Conference.

The 22,718 screaming fans in the Marriott Center for senior night saw the Cougars secure an undefeated home record for the year (13-0) and extend their home-winning streak to 18 straight victories.

BYU has now won 62 of its last 63 games at home and is currently riding a seven-game winning streak, the longest of the season.

"(This win) keeps our (NCAA) hopes alive," said head coach Steve Cleveland.

Coming through for the Cougars was the dynamic trio of seniors Rafael Araujo, Mark Bigelow and junior Mike Hall. Araujo finished the night with 16 points and Bigelow came up big with 19, but Hall stole the show, turning in a game-high 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting.

"Hall gave us a real spark," said Cleveland, "He'll sleep the best tonight for the effort he gave."

The three keys to the Cougars' upper-handed play was their ability to outscore the Utes in the paint 36-14, forcing 23 turnovers to their own seven and then capitalizing off of those turnovers by scoring 27 points to Utah's seven.

"It was a great defensive effort," said Cleveland. "There were not nearly as many mistakes. We executed better and made better plays."

Thanks to a 19-2 run on the strength of a defensive outing that held the Utes to 19 points in the half -- the lowest point total BYU has held an opponent to since holding the Utes to 19 in the first half at the Huntsman Center back in January -- BYU overcame a slow start.

The Utes jumped out to an 8-0 lead before Cougar senior guard Luiz Lemes knocked down a three with 16:09 left in the half. Araujo cut the Ute lead to six with a follow-up basket off of a missed Bigelow layup at 13-7.

Down 17-10, the Cougars' Hall went on a 7-0 run beginning with a steal he took the length of the court for the layin where he was fouled and then converted the old fashion three-point play. Hall then knocked down a short jumper and on the ensuing possession again stole the pass intended for Utah's Nick Jacobson, who led the Utes with 16 points, and drove all the way in for the slam that tied the game at 17 apiece.

The Cougars continued to roll with Hall putting the Cougars on top for the first time in the game at 21-19, as he drove past Jacobson for the easy layin. But it was Meads' follow up dunk off of a Woodberry miss that brought the Marriott Center crowd to its feet and gave BYU a 23-19 lead.

Bigelow capped off the Cougars' 19-2 run in the waning minutes of the half with a three-point shot from the top of the key, sending BYU into the half up 26-19.

Coming out of the break Araujo broke loose for eight of his 16 in the opening four minutes of the second half, giving BYU their first double-digit lead at 36-26.

BYU struggled to pull away from the Utes with Utah closing the gap again with a Jacobson three-pointer and a bucket by freshman Andrew Bogut that pulled Utah to within four at 43-39.The Cougars responded with a shot by Araujo, a free throw by senior Kevin Woodberry, a baseline jumper from Hall and a running-scoop shot in the lane by freshman Garner Meads to lift BYU to a 50-39 lead.

With 5:47 left to play, a Meads' basket lifted the Cougars to an 11-point advantage. The Utes would cut the lead to six but BYU pushed it back to 12 after a pair of Bigelow free throws at 57-45.

In the closing seconds it was all BYU with the Cougars scoring seven points including another Hall dunk and a wide-open Lemes layup to seal the 70-57 victory.

With the win, BYU improves to 19-7 and 9-4 in the Mountain West Conference. Utah falls to 20-8 and 8-5. The Cougars have secured the No. 2 seed at next week's MWC Tournament while Utah has wrapped up the No. 3 spot.

Next up for BYU is a trip to Las Vegas to face UNLV in the final regular-season game of the season. The Cougars and Rebels will square off on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. (PST) on ABC.

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

University of Utah vs Brigham Young University

03/01/04 10:00 PM at Brigham Young University

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VISITORS: University of Utah 20-8, 8-5

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

04 BOGUT, Andrew....... f 4-14 1-2 1-1 3 4 7 2 10 1 3 0 1 31

20 MARKSON, Bryant..... f 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 3 2 1 2 0 0 13

54 FROST, Tim.......... c 5-7 1-2 0-3 2 5 7 3 11 0 2 0 0 35

11 DRISDOM, Tim........ g 1-4 0-2 5-5 0 5 5 4 7 6 7 0 2 36

15 JACOBSON, Nick...... g 5-14 3-10 3-4 1 6 7 2 16 1 6 0 0 40

02 OLSEN, Josh......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 6

05 HAWKINS, Justin..... 3-5 0-0 1-1 1 2 3 3 7 0 2 0 0 15

13 CHANEY, Richard..... 1-5 0-2 2-2 1 3 4 4 4 0 1 0 0 24

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

Totals.............. 20-50 5-18 12-16 10 26 36 22 57 10 23 0 4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 8-21 38.1% 2nd Half: 12-29 41.4% Game: 40.0% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-6 33.3% 2nd Half: 3-12 25.0% Game: 27.8% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 1-4 25.0% 2nd Half: 11-12 91.7% Game: 75.0% 1

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOME TEAM: Brigham Young University 19-7, 9-4

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 6-12 3-5 4-6 0 4 4 1 19 3 1 0 1 38

41 MEADS, Garner....... f 2-4 0-0 0-1 2 2 4 3 4 0 3 2 2 20

55 ARAUJO, Rafael...... c 7-15 0-2 2-4 2 2 4 3 16 1 1 0 1 29

01 HALL, Mike.......... g 8-10 0-0 5-7 0 3 3 2 21 2 0 0 2 37

04 LEMES, Luiz......... g 2-8 1-4 0-0 1 3 4 1 5 4 1 0 1 26

00 WOODBERRY, Kevin.... 1-3 1-1 2-4 1 4 5 3 5 5 1 0 2 28

02 ROSE, Mike.......... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

05 SHOFF, Jake......... 0-2 0-0 0-2 0 1 1 5 0 0 0 1 2 13

10 NASHIF, Terry....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0+

52 JENSEN, Jared....... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 7

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

Totals.............. 26-56 5-12 13-24 7 23 30 18 70 15 7 3 11 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-28 39.3% 2nd Half: 15-28 53.6% Game: 46.4% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-6 50.0% 2nd Half: 2-6 33.3% Game: 41.7% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 1-5 20.0% 2nd Half: 12-19 63.2% Game: 54.2% 8

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Officials: David Hall, Scott Thornley, Verne Harris

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

Attendance: 22718

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

University of Utah............ 19 38 - 57

Brigham Young University...... 26 44 - 70

Largest crowd since Jan 1992, 21st largest ever in Marriott Ctr

Points in the paint-UT 14,BY 36. Points off turnovers-UT 7,BY 27.

2nd chance points-UT 11,BY 8. Fast break points-UT 0,BY 12.

Bench points-UT 11,BY 5. Score tied-2 times. Lead changes-1 time.

Tags: Results