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Utah Men's Basketball Notes - Game #19

Rick Majerus is 19-9 all-time against New Mexico.

Rick Majerus is 19-9 all-time against New Mexico.

Jan. 21, 2004

Game #19

Utah Runnin' Utes (15-3, 3-0) vs. New Mexico Lobos (9-6, 0-2)

Jan. 24 * 1:05 p.m. (MST) * The Pit/Bob King Court (18,018) * Albuquerque, N.M.

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The Game At A Glance

Utah Head Coach: Rick Majerus           New Mexico Head Coach: Ritchie McKay
Alma Mater: Marquette, 1970             Alma Mater: Seattle Pacific, 1987
Record at Utah: 323-93 (15th Season)    Record at New Mexico: 19-24 (2nd Season)
Overall Record: 422-145 (20th Season)   Overall Record: 102-113 (8th Season)

Television: ESPN Regional (KJZZ-TV 14 in Salt Lake City). ESPN Full Court. Brian Davis (play-by-play) and Irv Brown (analyst).

Radio: Utah Sports Network (KALL-700 AM in Salt Lake City and affiliate stations). On the Internet at www.UtahUtes.com and www.kall700.com. Bill Marcroft (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst) and Brad Stone (host).

Series Record: Utah leads 72-38 Utah's Record Home/Away/Neutral: 47-5/23-32/2-1 Last Meeting: New Mexico won 76-69 on March 1, 2003 in Albuquerque, N.M.

After This

The Utes play Air Force on Monday at 7:05 pm. (MST) in Colorado Springs, Colo. Utah then returns home to host BYU in the Huntsman Center on Saturday, Jan. 31 at 1:05 p.m. (MST).

Quickly On Utah

Utah (15-3, 3-0 MWC) opens a two-game Mountain West Conference road swing against New Mexico (9-6, 0-2 MWC) on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. (MST) in Albuquerque, N.M. The game will be televised by ESPN Regional (KJZZ-TV in Salt Lake City) and broadcast on KALL-700 AM and the Utah Sports Network. The Utes are 4-1 on opponents' homecourts this season.

The Utes have won nine in a row, which is tied for the 10th-best streak in the NCAA as of Jan. 20, and 12 of their last 13 games. Utah is off to a 3-0 start in MWC play. Last weekend the Utes got a pair of home wins, defeating Wyoming (60-49) on Saturday and Colorado State (67-49) on Monday night in Salt Lake City.

Senior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 206) leads the Utes in scoring (15.4 ppg), hitting 46.8 percent of his three-point attempts. Freshman forward Andrew Bogut (6-10, 233) is tied for second on the team in scoring (11.9 ppg), and is first in both rebounding (9.8 rpg) and blocked shots (18). The native of Melbourne, Australia, has eight double-doubles this season and is shooting 64.0 percent from the field. Sophomore forward Richard Chaney (6-4, 195) is tied for second in scoring (11.9 ppg), shooting 53.1 percent from the field and 48.0 percent from three-point range. Sophomore guard Tim Drisdom (6-2, 212) leads the Utes in assists (3.6 apg).

Scouting New Mexico

The Lobos are 9-6 overall, 0-2 in Mountain West Conference play and 9-3 at home this season. After winning seven of its last eight nonconference games, New Mexico has lost two in a row to start league play. New Mexico lost at Wyoming (82-77) on Jan. 12 and to Air Force at home (68-42) on Jan. 17.

Senior guard Javin Tindall (5-11, 165) ranks ninth in the Mountain West in scoring (13.5 ppg), fifth in assists (3.80 apg) and second in free throw percentage (82.5). He is shooting 37.9 percent from three-point range and ranks first in the MWC in three-pointers made per game (2.60). Sophomore forward/center David Chiotti (6-9, 240) is 11th in the league in scoring (12.8 ppg), sixth in field goal percentage (59.7) and sixth in rebounding (6.0 rpg). Junior forward Alfred Neale (6-5, 200) ranks 18th in the conference in scoring (10.6 ppg) and 10th in rebounds (5.5 rpg). Junior forward Danny Granger (6-8, 225) is averaging 20.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, which pace the team but don'tmake the MWC rankings since he has only played in nine games.

The Utes and Lobos have two common nonconference opponents. Utah lost to Texas Tech on a neutral court (65-54) and defeated San Diego at home (82-39), while New Mexico lost to Texas Tech at home (67-58) and defeated San Diego at home (88-75).

New Mexico ranks fourth in the MWC in scoring (75.6 ppg), third in scoring defense (63.6 ppg), third in rebound margin (+4.4 rpg), first in three-point field goals made per game (8.87) and second in assists (15.93 apg). The Lobos were 10th in the NCAA in three-pointers made per game (8.9) as of Jan. 20.

Utes With Best Road Record In MWC Play

Heading into this weekend's games, Utah has the best road record in the five-year history of the Mountain West Conference at 16-13 (.552). Wyoming is in second place at 15-15 (.500) and UNLV is third (.414).

Head Coach Ritchie McKay

Ritchie McKay is in his second season at New Mexico and has a 102-113 record in his eighth year as a head coach. In his first year with the Lobos in 2002-03, the team went 10-18 and placed seventh in the MWC with a 4-10 mark.

McKay, who was the head coach at Colorado State for two seasons (1998-2000), returned to the Mountain West Conference following a two-year stint at Oregon State (2000-02) where he went 22-37. At CSU, McKay went 19-11 in 1998-99, taking the Rams to the third round of the NIT. His team went 18-12 in 1999-2000 when he was named Coach of the Year by College Hoops Insider magazine. McKay began his head coaching career at Portland State, going 24-29 in two seasons from 1996-98.

Utah-New Mexico Series Notes

* The Utes and Lobos meet for the 111th time on Saturday. The series dates back to a 59-47 win by Utah on Jan. 3, 1952 in Albuquerque, N.M., in a Skyline Conference match-up.

* Utah leads the all-time series 72-38, winning 10 of the last 13 games.

* The Utes had won three in a row before falling 76-69 on March 1, 2003 at The Pit. Before then, the Lobos' last win over the Runnin' Utes was on March 9, 2001 (56-53) in the Mountain West Conference Tournament semifinals in Las Vegas.

* In conference play, the Utes have a 69-35 advantage.

* In Albuquerque, the Lobos lead 32-23. Before losing last season, Utah had taken two in a row at The Pit.

* Utah's most decisive win over UNM under Rick Majerus was 36 points (86-50) on March 10, 1995 in the WAC Tournament in Albuquerque, N.M.

* New Mexico's most decisive win over Utah during the Rick Majerus era was 16 points (87-71) on Feb. 1, 1997 in Albuquerque, N.M.

* Rick Majerus is 19-9 against New Mexico all-time with all of those games taking place during his tenure at Utah. He is 6-9 in against UNM in Albuquerque-winning four of the last eight games-which includes a 1-1 record in WAC Tournament games (1995 and '96).

* Ritchie McKay is 2-2 against Utah. He went 1-1 against Utah during his tenure at Colorado State, splitting the season series in 1999-2000. The Utes and Rams did not meet in 1998-99.

Last Meeting

Ruben Douglas had 39 points, including a school-record 26 free throws, as New Mexico beat No. 22 Utah 76-69 last season at The Pit on March 1. Marc Jackson led the Utes with 16 points and Richard Chaney scored 14. But Tim Frost and Britton Johnsen, two of the Utes' leading scorers, combined for just 13 points on 5-of-19 shooting.

New Mexico went to the foul line 53 times to snap the Utes' nine-game winning streak, which was the sixth-longest in the nation. Utah put up a school record 40 three-point attempts, hitting 12. That broke the previous school mark of 34 three-point attempts against San Diego State in 1999.

With Douglas and point guard Javin Tindall consistently beating the Utes on drives inside, the Lobos had a field day at the free throw line. They made 40 of their 53 foul shots to offset Utah's 25-16 edge in field goals. Utah shot only seven free throws and made all of them.

Douglas was 26-for-31 at the free throw line, including 20-of-23 in the second half. Douglas, who is averaging a Division I-best 28.5 points a game, was 5-of-17 from the field. But the Utes repeatedly sent him to the line. The 31 foul shots attempted by Douglas also set a school record.

The 6-foot-5 Douglas also had a career-high 14 rebounds. His 26 free throws broke the previous mark of 19 free throws by Toby Roybal against Wyoming in 1956. Tindall went 6-for-6 at the line and had 15 points.

That was enough to offset two scoring droughts from the field. The Lobos went the final eight minutes of the first half without a field goal but still led 27-22. And their only field goal over the game's final seven and a half minutes was a layup by David Chiotti with 12 seconds left.

New Mexico never trailed after scoring 10 straight points for a 13-6 lead. Douglas, who missed his first three shots and first two free throws, sparked the run. He hit consecutive three-pointers in a span of 22 seconds, then added a short jumper in the lane. Utah got within 67-61 on a three-pointer by Jackson with 1:09 left, but Douglas kept the Lobos in front with seven free throws over the final minute.

Jacobson Stroking "J"s

Senior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 206) has been a third team all-Mountain West selection the last two seasons. This season, he leads the Utes in scoring (15.2 ppg), hitting 47.3 percent (43-of-91) from beyond the arc and 87.0 percent from the free throw line.

* In the NCAA statistical rankings released Jan. 20, Jacobson was 38th in free throw percentage (85.5). Jacobson had made 21 consecutive free throws over three games before his streak ended during the Colorado State game.

* Jacobson has scored at least 20 points in five of the last nine games-including four consecutive games Dec. 19 through Jan. 3. He has also been in double figures the last three games and eight of the last nine. During this nine-game stretch, Jacobson has shot 50.0 percent from the field and 47.3 percent (26-for-55) from three-point range to average 19.8 points per game. He had a career-high 28 points against Weber State on Jan. 3, hitting 8-of-12 field goals, 5-of-7 threes and 7-of-7 free throws in 39 minutes. He has had six 20-point games this season.

* Jacobson has already climbed into 18th place in career scoring at Utah with 1,350 points. He is one of just 30 players in the 1,000-point club and currently ranks behind Jerry Chambers (1,400 points).

Boasting Of Bogut

Freshman forward Andrew Bogut (6-10, 233) is tied for second on the team in scoring (11.9 ppg) and is first in both rebounding (9.8 rpg) and blocked shots (18). He is shooting 64.0 percent from the field.

* Bogut has 12 double-figure scoring games and nine double-figure rebound games. He has scored in double-figures eight of the last 11 games.

* In the NCAA statistical rankings released on Jan. 20, Bogut was 18th in rebounds per game (9.8).

* Bogut has eight double-doubles this season, which ties the Mountain West freshman record set by Tom Bellairs of Air Force in 1999-2000. His most recent double dip came with a career-best 20 points (8-of-13 FG, 4-of-12 FT) and 16 rebounds against Wyoming on Jan. 17. He also had a career-best five blocked shots against Wyoming.

Game #18 Rewind

Nick Jacobson scored 18 and Richard Chaney added 16 points as Utah won its ninth straight, beating Colorado State 67-49 Monday night in Salt Lake City.

The Utes (15-3, 3-0 MWC) improved to 11-0 at home and remained unbeaten in league play with a huge advantage in free throws. Utah went 20-for-28 from the line, while Colorado State was just 8-of-10.

The Rams (8-8, 0-3 MWC) led at halftime after shooting well in the first half but couldn't sustain it in the second half as their shooting cooled off. The Rams were 13-for-23 from the floor in the first 20 minutes and forced the Utes into some bad shooting. Utah attempted seven three-pointers in the half and made just one.

Matt Nelson led Colorado State with 17 points and Ronnie Clark scored 14 for the Rams.

Colorado State fell behind early in the second half, then made a late push when Nelson cut Utah's lead to 53-46 on two free throws with 5:19 remaining, but the Utes scored the next eight points.

Jacobson went 1-for-2 from the line, then Tim Frost pulled down an offensive rebound and the Utes got the ball to Chaney, who made his fourth three-pointer of the night to put Utah up 57-46.

Utah continued the run with a half-court alley-oop pass from Josh Olsen to Andrew Bogut, who was going too fast for a dunk but made a layup, then added two free throws on the next possession to put Utah up 61-46 with 1:40 remaining.

Utah trailed 28-27 at halftime, but Jacobson put the Utes back on top with a jumper. Frost added a basket inside and Chaney hit a three-pointer, forcing the Rams to call time out with 17:42 left in the game.

From Beyond The Arc

Utah has connected on at least 40 percent of its three-point field goals in 12 games this season-including seven of the last eight-winning all of them. Conversely, when the Utes shoot under 40 percent from beyond the arc, they are 3-3. In the last eight games, Utah is shooting 47.4 percent (63-for-133) from beyond the arc.

* In the NCAA statistical rankings released on Jan. 20, Utah ranked fourth in three-point field goal percentage (41.7).

* The Utes have hit at least half of their three-point tries five times this season: Southern Utah (57.9) with a season-best percentage, UNLV on Jan. 12 (53.8), Pepperdine (51.9) with a season-high 27 attempts, Colorado (50.0) and Stony Brook (50.0).

Getting Defensive

One of the trademarks of a Utah team during the Rick Majerus era is a stifling half-court defense. Since 1989-90, Utah has ranked in the top 30 in the nation 11 times in scoring defense, nine times in rebound margin, eight times in field goal percentage defense and eight times in scoring margin.

* In the NCAA statistical rankings released on Jan. 20, Utah ranked second nation in scoring defense (53.9 ppg), 27th in field goal percentage defense (39.1) and 14th in rebound margin (+7.6 rpg).

* The Utes have outrebounded 16 of 18 opponents this season.

* Utah has held 10 of its 18 opponents to less than 40 percent shooting from the field. Only six teams have reached 60 points and nine opponents have been held to under 50 points this season. Savannah State shot 18.2 percent against the Utes on Dec. 13, which is the lowest mark for a Utah opponent all-time. Only one team (UConn at 62.3 percent) has shot better than 50 percent from the field against the Utes this season.

* Utah has not allowed an opponent to score 80 points in 113 consecutive games that have ended in regulation. The last team to score 80 points on the Utes in a 40-minute game was Wyoming (88) on Feb. 28, 2000 in Laramie, Wyo.

Ute Items

* Since its last loss to LSU on Dec. 16, Utah has been shooting the ball well. In the last nine games, the Utes have shot 51.3 percent from the field and 49.3 percent from three-point range. Utah ranked 16th in the NCAA in field goal percentage (49.1) as of Jan. 20.

* Utah has made significant progress at the free throw line. After shooting just 26.8 percent (11-of-41) from the stripe against Stony Brook, Texas Tech and UConn (getting losses in the later two games), Utah has shot 74.9 percent (191-of-255) in the last 12 games. The Utes shot a season-best 97.1 percent (11-of-12) from the line against Whitworth. Utah is currently shooting 68.7 percent at the line this season.



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