Luka Drca has been Utah's leading scorer in the last two games.
Jan. 4, 2010
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah men's basketball team (7-7, 0-0) puts its nine-game home winning streak against conference opponents on the line this week as it opens its Mountain West Conference slate against TCU (8-7, 1-0) Saturday, Jan. 9, at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Tip-off is slated for 1:30 p.m. MT.
The Runnin' Utes have not lost a conference game at home since falling to New Mexico by a 72-71 score on Feb. 23, 2008.
Utah leads the all-time series with TCU 12-4, including a 7-2 record at the Huntsman Center. Utah is 5-4 at home this year, while the Horned Frogs are 1-4 on the road this year.
The Runnin' Utes defeated TCU three times last year. The last meeting came in the first round of the MWC Championship in Las Vegas, where the Utes sunk TCU, 61-58, on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Lawrence Borha. During their regular season clashes, Utah captured a 62-54 win in Fort Worth, then clinched a share of the regular-season MWC crown with a 68-49 victory in Salt Lake City. TCU's last win in the series came on Feb. 27, 2008 in Fort Worth, 67-61.
Utah is looking to win its third straight game after capturing a 61-59 road victory at LSU last Saturday to close out its non-conference schedule. Senior guard Luka Drca (Belgrade, Serbia) was the team's leading scorer with 14 points, while adding a game-high five assists. Junior guard Carlon Brown (Riverside, Calif.) chipped in 12 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with just over a minute left on the clock. Senior forward Kim Tillie (Cagnes-sur-Mer, France) also hit double digits, scoring 10 points, and leading the Utes in rebounds with seven, including four on the offensive glass.
Brown is Utah's top scorer, averaging 13.4 points per game, and is the team's second-leading rebounder at 5.4 boards per contest. Tillie leads that category with 6.2 per game, while Drca is the top assist man at 4.4 per game. Sophomore David Foster (Lake Forest, Calif.) is the nation's fourth-leading shot blocker at 4.5 per game. He posted seven swatted shots in the Utes' win at LSU and came up with a loose ball in the final seconds that allowed Utah to seal the win.
TCU has won two straight, including a 59-50 home victory against Air Force to open MWC action Wednesday. Zvonko Buljan posted a double-double in the win with game highs of 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Buljan is TCU's leading scorer at 14.6 points per game, while Ronnie Moss is right behind at 14.5. Buljan is also leading the Frogs in rebounds at 9.2 per game, while Moss is the top assist-man at 6.6 per game.
Utah head coach Jim Boylen is in his third season at the helm and holds a 49-32 (.605) record. TCU is coached by Jim Christian, who owns a 22-24 (.478) record in his second year at the helm.
Utah had a bye in the first round of MWC games.