Utah center Luke Nevill (50) shoots against Washington State forward Robbie Cowgill (34) during the first half. (AP Photo)
Dec. 3, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Luke Nevill scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Utah spoiled Washington State's best start in 13 years with a 69-55 victory Saturday night.
The Cougars (7-1) had been hoping to remain undefeated for their matchup with No. 22 Gonzaga on Tuesday night, but could not stop the 7-foot-1 center.
Even when Nevill was not throwing down dunks or pulling down rebounds, he was passing deftly out of double- and triple-teams to get his teammates open shots. Shaun Green scored 17 points as a result, and made all five of his 3-point shots.
The Utes (3-3) made 9-of-17 from 3-point range, including three during a 14-0 first-half run that blew the game open.
Robbie Cowgill scored 16 points to lead the Cougars, who entered the game leading the Pac-10 Conference by allowing 56.8 points per game.
But the Utes shot 58.1 percent, and led by as many as 25 points. Johnnie Bryant added 14 points for Utah, while teammate Lawrence Borha helped hold WSU's leading scorer, Derrick Low, to three of his 15 points in the decisive first half.
The Cougars tried to dig out of a 20-point hole in the second half, with a 3-pointer by Low and a dunk by Cowgill.
But Utah's Ricky Johns buried a 3-pointer on the other end with 10:08 remaining, and the Utes used a rapid-fire combination of a blocked shot and a long pass for a fast-break lay-up by Green to rebuild their lead to 56-36 and effectively seal the game.
Washington State has lost 10 straight games at Utah since 1946.