Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Runnin' Utes Return To Olympic City To Host Air Force Saturday

Junior center Cameron Koford has 10 points, eight rebounds and a career-high four blocked shots against UNLV on Monday.

Junior center Cameron Koford has 10 points, eight rebounds and a career-high four blocked shots against UNLV on Monday.

Feb. 14, 2002

Game #23

Utah Runnin' Utes (17-5, 7-2 MWC) vs. Air Force Falcons (9-12, 3-5 MWC)

Feb. 16 * 6:07 p.m. (MST) * Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000) * Salt Lake City

The Game at a Glance

Utah Head Coach: Rick Majerus	        Air Force Head Coach: Joe Scott
Alma Mater: Marquette, 1970	        Alma Mater: Princeton, 1987
Record at Utah: 278-78/13th Season	Record at Air Force: 17-33/2nd Season
Overall Record: 379-130/18th Season	Overall Record: 17-33/2nd Season

Television: KJZZ-TV in Salt Lake City (Channel 14 and AT&T Cable 3). Steve Brown (play-by-play) and Thurl Bailey (analyst). Radio: Utah Sports Network (KALL-910 AM in Salt Lake City and affiliate stations). On the Internet at www.UtahUtes.com and www.kall910.com. Bill Marcroft (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst) and Brad Stone (host).

Series Record: Utah leads 36-7 Utah's Record Home/Away/Neutral: 21-1/14-6/1-0 Last Meeting: Utah defeated Air Force 63-57 in overtime on Jan. 19, 2002 in Colorado Srpings, Colo.

Utah Probable Starters No. Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown Statistics 35 F Jeff Johnsen 6-4 204 Sr. Murray, Utah 10.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg 31 F Britton Johnsen 6-9 213 Jr. Murray, Utah 12.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg 13 C Cameron Koford 6-11 230 Jr. Plain City, Utah 3.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg 11 G Travis Spivey 6-1 212 Sr. Myrtle Beach, S.C. 6.1 ppg, 4.8 apg 15 G Nick Jacobson 6-4 198 So. Fargo, N.D. 13.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg

Utah Off the Bench No. Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown Statistics 3 G Martin Osimani 6-3 203 Fr. Montevideo, Uruguay 1.2 ppg, 0.9 apg 21 G/F Trace Caton 6-5 214 Jr. Alamosa, Colo. 5.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg 32 G Eric Osmundson 6-3 196 Fr. Carlsbad, Calif. 2.1 ppg, 1.0 apg 40 F/C Phil Cullen 6-9 221 Sr. Chelan, Wash. 6.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg 41 C Lance Allred 6-10 239 So. Salt Lake City 2.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg

Air Force Probable Starters No. Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown Statistics 10 F A.J. Kuhle 6-3 185 So. Concord, Calif. 7.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg 33 F Joel Gerlach 6-6 195 So. Littleton, Colo. 12.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg 32 C Tom Bellairs 6-7 230 Jr. Denver, Colo. 10.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg 12 G Lamoni Yazzie 6-1 180 Sr. Tuba City, Ariz. 13.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg 22 G Vernard Jenkins 5-9 184 Jr. Miami, Fla. 3.8 ppg, 2.5 apg

After This

The Runnin' Utes play their final regular season home game against New Mexico on Monday at 10:03 p.m. (MST) on ESPN's "Big Monday." Next Saturday, Utah faces BYU in Provo at 1:07 p.m. (MST).

Quickly On Utah

The Runnin' Utes are 17-5 overall and in second place in the Mountain West Conference with a 7-2 record heading into Saturday night's home game against Air Force at 6:07 p.m. (MST) in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Utah is 12-2 at home overall this season and 4-1 in conference play. Since starting out 3-3, the Utes have won 14 of the last 16 games.

Utah split a two-game road trip last weekend. After getting a 70-53 win at San Diego State on Saturday afternoon, the Utes fell to UNLV 72-64 in Las Vegas on Monday night.

Sophomore 6-4 guard Nick Jacobson leads the Runnin' Utes in scoring (13.5 ppg), shooting 45.5 percent (56-of-123) from three-point range. He ranked 16th in the nation in three-point percentage as of Tuesday. Junior 6-9 forward Britton Johnsen is second on the team in scoring (12.7 ppg) and first in rebounding (5.7 rpg). Senior 6-1 guard Travis Spivey leads the team in assists (4.8 apg). Senior 6-4 guard/forward Jeff Johnsen is third in scoring (10.1 ppg), second in assists (2.9 apg) and first in steals (1.4 spg).

As of Tuesday when the NCAA rankings were released, Utah was 12th in the nation in scoring defense (60.2 ppg), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (41.4) and 28th in field goal percentage (47.5).

Road Warriors Return to Olympic City

With the world coming to Salt Lake City for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, the Runnin' Utes elected to leave. Due to a lack of available practice time in the Jon M. Huntsman Center and congestion on and around the University of Utah campus, the team left Salt Lake City last Tuesday morning and departed for San Diego. After playing San Diego State on Saturday afternoon, the Utes headed to Las Vegas that evening, where they stayed through Thursday. Following its games with Air Force and New Mexico this Saturday and Monday, the team has tentative plans to practice in St. George, Utah, the remainder of the week prior to its game at BYU on Feb. 23.

The Olympic Winter Games are taking place Feb. 8-24, while the Paralympic Winter Games will be March 7-16. A major "player" in hosting the Games, the U. is the site of the Olympic Village and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Heritage Commons, the beautiful new on-campus student housing complex located on the east side at the mouth of Red Butte Canyon, is serving as the Olympic Village for some 3,500 athletes and officials. Rice-Eccles Stadium, the home of the Utah football team, has been temporarily expanded from its current capacity of 45,634 to 56,000 seats for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. The Huntsman Center was used as a staging area for the athletes before they marched to Rice-Eccles Stadium. The University is on semester break Feb. 1-26.

Scouting Air Force

The Falcons are 9-12 overall and in sixth place in the Mountain West Conference with a 3-5 record. Air Force has won two in a row at home after dropping two games on the road. The Falcons defeated San Diego State 67-54 on Feb. 4 and New Mexico 47-44 last Saturday at Clune Arena. Air Force is 2-8 on the road this season but has not won a conference road game in three tries.

Senior 6-1 guard Lamoni Yazzie ranks 13th in the MWC in scoring (13.3 ppg) and fourth in free throw percentage (84.7). Sophomore 6-6 forward Joel Gerlach is 18th in the MWC in scoring (12.2 ppg), second in three-point percentage (48.1) and second in field goal percentage (56.4). Junior 6-7 forward/center Tom Bellairs is averaging 10.4 points per game and ranks ninth in the league in field goal percentage (51.9). He is also ranked 10th in the MWC in rebounding (5.5 rpg). Junior 5-9 guard Vernard Jenkins leads the Falcons in assists (2.5 apg) and ranks third in the conference in steals (1.86 spg).

Air Force ranks eighth in the Mountain West in scoring (58.3 ppg), second in scoring defense (61.7 ppg), eighth in rebound margin (-7.1 rpg), second in three-pointers made per game (7.76) and second in steals (8.48 spg).

Comparing the Stats

	        Utah	Air Force
Scoring	        68.6	58.3
Scoring Defense	60.2	61.7
FG%	        .475	.469
FG% Defense	.430	.467
3-Pt. FG%	.414	.383
3-Pt. FG% Def.	.287	.312
FT%	        .700	.706
Rebound Margin	+1.5	-7.1
Assists	        15.4	11.8
Turnovers	14.0	14.8
Opp. Turnovers	14.2	15.0
Steals	        6.4	8.5

Head Coach Joe Scott

Joe Scott is 17-33 in his second season at Air Force. He led the Falcons to an 8-21 overall record and a 3-11 conference mark in 2000-01. Scott came to the the Academy from Princeton, where he spent eight years as an assistant under Hall-of-Famer Pete Carrill and Bill Carmody. Scott was a four-year lettermen and a three-year starter at point guard for Princeton. Scott helped the Tigers to the 1984 Ivy League championship and a first round NCAA Tournament victory over San Diego. He still ranks fourth all-time at Princeton in steals and 10th in three-point percentage.

Utah-Air Force Series Notes

* Utah and Air Force meet for the 44th time on Saturday. The series dates back to a 108-57 win by the Runnin' Utes on Dec. 23, 1965 in Salt Lake City.

* Utah leads the all-time series 36-7. Before Air Force defeated Utah in the second meeting last season 71-60 on March 1 in Colorado Springs, Colo., Utah had won 10 in a row.

* In Salt Lake City, the Utes are 21-1 and have won 10 in a row. Their last loss was 67-57 on Jan. 26, 1989. Last season, Utah defeated Air Force 63-58 on Feb. 3.

* Utah's most decisive win over Air Force under Rick Majerus was 26 points (87-61) on Feb. 18, 1993 in Salt Lake City.

* Air Force has only one win against Utah with Rick Majerus on the bench. The Falcons won 91-89 on Feb. 19, 1994 in overtime in Colorado Springs.

* In conference play, the Utes have a 32-7 advantage.

* Rick Majerus is 18-1 against Air Force all-time and 17-1 during his tenure at Utah.

* Joe Scott is 1-2 against Utah and 0-1 head-to-head against Rick Majerus.

The Last Time Around

Nick Jacobson had 19 points and was 4-for-6 on three-pointers as Utah defeated Air Force 63-57 in overtime on Jan. 19 at Clune Arena. Cameron Koford had a career-best 15 points and eight rebounds, and Britton Johnsen added 10 points for Utah.

Tom Bellairs had 15 points for Air Force, and Lamoni Yazzie and A.J. Kuhle each had 11. Joel Gerlach had 10 points in the first half and Air Force led 30-26 at the break. But Utah held Gerlach scoreless in the second half and didn't allow the Falcons a shot on their final two possessions. The score was tied at 51 at the end of regulation play.

Utah scored first in overtime on Koford's basket in the first minute and never trailed. The Utes hit only one of six free throws in the last minute of overtime but the Falcons couldn't score on their last three possessions.

Utah shot 56.3 percent in the second half and made all three shots in overtime to outshoot Air Force 55.6 to 46.3 percent for the game. The Utes also had a 27 to 20 edge on the boards, but posted 14 turnovers to 12 assists.

Last Game In Salt Lake City

Kevin Bradley scored 12 of his 15 points in the final 10:05 as Utah withstood a furious Air Force rally to win 63-58 last season at the Huntsman Center on Feb. 3. Jeff Johnsen added 10 points for the Utes. Jarvis Croff snapped out of a shooting slump with 17 points, including six in the last 1:34 of the game. Tom Bellairs added 14 points for the Falcons.

Utah seemed poised to close out the Falcons when Bradley hit two free throws to put Utah ahead 59-48 with 2:53 to play. But Croff hit a pair of three-pointers and added a steal in a 10-0 run that closed the gap to 59-58 with 23.6 remaining. Bradley answered with two more foul shots. A.J. Kuhle missed a long three-point attempt for Air Force and Travis Spivey sealed the win with two more free throws.

But Air Force had its chances in the game as the Falcons held Utah scoreless for 5:24 midway through the second half and drew within 41-38 on Robert Todd's three-pointer with 10:30 to play. Then Utah's distinct height advantage was negated as Nate Althoff left the court after injuring his knee with 9:31 to play. So the Utes relied on their outside game as Bradley took over down the stretch. The 6-foot guard made all four of his field goal attempts, including two three-pointers in 19 minutes, to help keep Utah's conference title hopes alive.

Utah held the Falcons to just two field goals for the first 8:39 of the game and jumped out to a 17-6 lead. But Air Force battled back and trailed 29-24 after Croff's three-pointer just before halftime. Utah outshot Air Force 45.7 to 42.9 percent from the floor and had a 31 to 21 advantage on the glass. However, the Falcons made 10-of-22 from behind the three-point arc to Utah's 5-of-15 effort.

Jacobson Named Second Team All-District

Sophomore guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 198) was named to the NABC all-district 13 second team on Tuesday. Jacobson leads the Utes in scoring (13.5 ppg) and three-point shooting, hitting 45.5 percent and averaging 2.55 makes per game. He has scored in double figures in 15 of the 22 games this season.

* In the NCAA statistical rankings released on Feb. 12, Jacobson was 16th in three-point percentage (45.5).

* In a three-game stretch against UNLV (Jan. 12), San Diego State (Jan. 14) and Air Force (Jan. 19), the Fargo, N.D., native made 16-of-24 (66.7) from beyond the arc. Jacobson put up a career-high 26 points against UNLV. He hit five treys in eight attempts and converted 9-of-15 field goals overall. He had 25 points against San Diego State, tying the school record with seven three-pointers (in 10 attempts) and hitting 9-of-14 from the field. Jacobson's 19 points (4-of-6 on threes) was a game high in the overtime win at Air Force as he played the entire 45 minutes. He was named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week on Jan. 21.

* Jacobson has already climbed into the 10th place in career three-pointers made at Utah with 93.

* Last season, Jacobson was named the 2000-01 Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year, becoming the first Ute to garner conference Freshman of the Year honors since Keith Van Horn in 1993-94. Jacobson made the top 10 in five statistical categories on the all-time freshman charts at Utah last season. He ranked eighth in scoring (245 points), eighth in scoring average (7.9 ppg), second in three-pointers made (37), first in three-pointers attempted (97) and first in free throw percentage (.806).

Johnsen & Johnsen

* Junior forward Britton Johnsen (6-9, 213) earned second team all-Mountain West Conference honors last season and was a preseason all-league choice by the media this season. Britton is second on the team in scoring (12.7 ppg) and first in rebounding (5.7 rpg). Dating back to last season, Britton has scored in double figures in 32 of the last 47 contests-including 18 of the 22 games this season.

* Britton scored at least 20 points in three consecutive games Jan. 21 through Feb. 2. During that time, he averaged 24.3 points per game while shooting 65.7 percent from the floor and 50.0 percent from three-point range. After posting 25 points against New Mexico on Jan. 21, Britton then came back with his second double-double of the season-and the second in four games-with 20 points and 10 rebounds against BYU on Jan. 28. He converted 10-of-12 free throws against the Cougars to set career highs in both makes and attempts. He got a career-high 28 points, shooting 9-of-10 from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point range, against Colorado State on Feb. 2.

* The Murray, Utah, native has led the Utes in rebounding eight of the 12 games since Chris Burgess was injured against Texas. During that stretch, Britton has averaged 6.9 rebounds per game. He had a season-high 11 rebounds to go with 10 points against San Diego State on Jan. 14 to get his first double-double of the season.

* In Mountain West Conference games, Britton is leading the team in scoring (15.2 ppg), rebounding (7.0 rpg) and field goal percentage (55.2).

* Senior guard/forward Jeff Johnsen (6-4, 204) joins his younger brother Britton in the Utah lineup. Jeff, who has started the last 18 games, is third on the team in scoring (10.1 ppg), second in assists (2.9 apg) and first in steals (1.4 spg). Jeff has scored in double figures 12 times this season, including nine of the last 11 games.

* Jeff tied a career-high with 20 points against San Diego State on Feb. 9. He also tied a career-best with five three-pointers and set a personal best with nine attempts. Jeff made 7-of-12 field goals overall and had four rebounds in 32 minutes against the Aztecs.

* In Mountain West Conference games, Jeff is averaging 12.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. He has shot 43.2 percent from three-point range (16-of-37). Jeff had a career-high seven assists against New Mexico on Jan. 21.

* Britton and Jeff combined to score 35 of Utah's 71 points against BYU on Jan. 28, 43 of 67 points against Colorado State on Feb. 2 and 33 of 70 points against San Diego State on Feb. 9.

* Rick Majerus has literally made his program a family affair at Utah. The Johnsens are the fifth set of brothers to play for Majerus spanning his 13-year career at the U. However, they are the first brothers to play together.

Getting to the Point with Spivey

* Senior point guard Travis Spivey (6-1, 212) has 100 assists (4.8 per game) to 51 turnovers (1.96:1 ratio) this season. Spivey has had fewer than two turnovers in eight games this season. He is also averaging 6.1 points per game and is second on the team in defensive rebounds (79).

* Spivey had his best scoring game of the conference season with 15 points, shooting 4-of-5 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line, against BYU on Jan. 28. He also had three steals in the game. Spivey scored in double figures for the second time in three games with 11 points against Wyoming on Feb. 4. He made 3-of-6 field goals and 2-of-4 three-pointers.

* The Myrtle Beach, S.C., native has had career highs in all three major statistical categories this season. Most recently, Spivey had a career-best 12 rebounds against San Diego State on Feb. 9. He also posted personal bests of 10 assists against Pepperdine on Dec. 1 and 18 points against Utah State on Nov. 23.

* Spivey seemed to only get better and better as the 2000-01 season wore on after transferring from Salt Lake Community College. Spivey started the final 19 games of the season at the point, playing over 30 minutes in seven of those games. In the final 16 games of the regular season, the Myrtle Beach, S.C., native had 75 assists to 33 turnovers (2.3:1 ratio). He averaged 4.7 assists and 7.3 points per game, scoring in double figures four times during that stretch.

Cullen Climbing the Career Charts After A Summer on the Mound

* Senior forward Phil Cullen (6-9, 221) has already moved into the top 10 on numerous career charts at Utah. Cullen ranks fifth in three-pointers made (137), fifth in three-pointers attempted (349) and ninth in blocked shots (61). He has started 42 games during his Utah career.

* This season, Cullen is averaging 6.6 points and 2.5 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per game off the bench. He is shooting 44.7 percent from three-point range.

* Getting more playing time since the injury to Chris Burgess against Texas on Dec. 29, Cullen has increased his productivity. In Mountain West Conference play, Cullen is averaging 8.1 points per game while connecting on 50.0 percent (18-for-36) of his three-point attempts. He had a season-high 18 points, hitting 5-of-6 three-pointers, three rebounds and two blocked shots in 22 minutes against San Diego State on Feb. 9.

* This past summer, Cullen played minor league baseball with the Seattle Mariners. The pitcher was taken in the 32nd round of the 2000 Major League Baseball draft by Seattle and signed with the organization last August. He climbed to the Class A level with the Everett (Wash.) Aquasox in the Northwest League, starting 14 games. Cullen went 1-4 with a 5.08 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 56.2 innings.

Burgess Out Since Late December with Torn Plantar Fascia

* Senior center/forward Chris Burgess (6-10, 240) has been out the last seven weeks with a torn plantar fascia in his right foot. Burgess suffered the injury five minutes into the Texas game on Dec. 29.

* Burgess has led the Utes in scoring five times and rebounds eight times this season. He has also had four double-doubles. The Irvine, Calif., native still ranks second on the team in scoring average (13.2 ppg) while shooting 66.0 percent from the field, which ranked fourth-best in the nation as of Jan. 7. He is also averaging a team-best 7.2 rebounds this season.

* Prior to being injured in the first half against Texas, Burgess had reached double figures in points five times and rebounds four times in the last six games. Over that stretch, he averaged 16.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots while shooting 66.7 percent from the floor. Burgess had a career-high 22 points versus Troy State on Dec. 8.

Take Note of These Utes

* During conference play, junior guard/forward Trace Caton (6-5, 214) has shot 52.6 percent from the field, 55.6 percent from beyond the arc and 88.9 percent at the line to average 6.4 points per game, which is fifth-best on the team. Despite playing off the bench, he is averaging 22.7 minutes per game in league action, which is fifth-best on the team.

* Junior center Cameron Koford (6-11, 230) has had some impressive performances during the Mountain West Conference season. In the overtime win at Air Force on Jan. 19. The Plain City, Utah, native had a career-best 15 points, hitting 6-of-8 field goals and 3-of-6 free throws in 32 minutes. Koford had a Utah career-best eight rebounds in his first start as a Ute. Against Wyoming on Feb. 4, Koford also had eight points and two blocked shots to go with six points against Wyoming on Feb. 4. He played 18 minutes as a starter. In the UNLV game on Monday, Koford had 10 points, hitting all four field goal attempts and both free throws. He also tied his Utah career-best with eight rebounds and set an overall personal best with four blocked shots.

* Freshman guard Eric Osmundson (6-3, 196) tied his career-best by playing 23 minutes against UNLV on Monday. He scored seven points against the Runnin' Rebels, shooting 3-of-6 from the field and 1-of-2 from beyond the arc.

UNLV Game Rewind

Dalron Johnson scored a game high 17 points Monday night to lead UNLV, which rallied from a 12-point first-half deficit, past Utah 72-64 at the Thomas & Mack Center. Britton Johnsen led Utah (17-5, 7-2 MWC) with 16 points, while teammate Jeff Johnsen added 11 points. Cameron Koford also chipped in 10 points, eight rebounds and a career-high four blocked shots for the Utes.

UNLV (13-8, 5-4 MWC) was aided in its comeback by guard Marcus Banks, who injured his left ankle with 6:10 left in the first half, but returned with 10:12 left in the game, and finished with 12 points, after scoring 10 in the second half. Louis Amundson also added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Rebels. UNLV converted 20-of-28 from the free throw line, while Utah made 5-of-5.

The Utes scored the first 11 points of the game and held a 37-25 lead with 3:01 left in the first half. Turnovers helped UNLV in its comeback, with Utah turning the ball over 22 times leading to 23 points for the Runnin' Rebels. UNLV lost possession only eight times.

UNLV took the lead for good, 53-51, with 7:42 left in the game and made 5-of-6 free throws at the end of the game to seal the win. Ute point guard Travis Spivey fouled out with 5:25 remaining.

Utah shot 66.7 percent in the first half and 52.8 percent for the game. The Utes were just 3-of-17 from three-point range. Both teams collected 32 rebounds, however, got 14 offensive rebounds which led to 16 second chance points.

Utah-UNLV Game Notes

* Utah's 22 turnovers was a season high. UNLV's 61 field goal attempts equalled the most by Ute opponent this season.

* The UNLV game marked the first time this season the Utes lost a game when they shot over 50 percent from the field and shot a better percentage than the opposition. Utah outshot UNLV 52.8 to 41.0 percent.

* The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Utes over the Rebels. UNLV leads the all-time series 11-10 and has a 7-3 edge in Las Vegas.

The Gunnin' Utes Rank Fourth in the Nation in Three-Point Percentage

When the NCAA ranking were released on Tuesday, Utah ranked fourth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (41.4). Individually, sophomore guard Nick Jacobson ranked 16th in the NCAA in three-point percentage (45.5).

* In the Mountain West Conference overall rankings, Utah is first in three-point percentage (41.4) and first in threes made per game (7.86). In conference play, the Utes are shooting 43.5 percent from three-point range and have made an average of 8.89 treys per game to rank first in both categories.

* Utah's best three-point shooting team under Rick Majerus was the 1992-93 squad that shot 41.0 percent to rank 10th in the NCAA.

* Utah has shot at least 40 percent from three-point range in 12 games this season, all of them wins. The Utes have made at least five three-pointers in 17 of the 22 games.

* Three Utes are shooting at least 40 percent from three-point range on the season: Trace Caton (51.2), Phil Cullen (47.1) and Nick Jacobson (45.5).

* Utah hit 59.3 percent (48-of-81) from three-point range during its first four Mountain West Conference games this season. Utah shot blistering percentages of 65.4 (UNLV), 53.8 (San Diego State), 45.5 (Air Force) and 66.7 (New Mexico).

* Against UNLV on Jan. 12, Utah made 17-of-26 three-pointers. The Utes' prolific shooting broke the school single-game record of 14 set four times, most recently against Washington State (14-of-28) on Dec. 11, 1999. The Utes also broke the Mountain West conference game record for threes in a game, bettering BYU's mark of 13 against San Diego State on Jan. 13, 2001. Utah tied the MWC record for all games, equaling Colorado State's 17 treys against Michigan on Jan. 2, 2000.

* Utah came back with 14 three-pointers in 18 attempts against San Diego State on Jan. 14 to equal the second-best mark in school history.

* The Utes' shot their best percentage of the season from three-point range (.714) against Pepperdine on Dec. 1, which tied the second-best single-game mark in school history.

* Utah shot 66.7 percent against New Mexico on Jan. 21 to equal the third-highest single-game mark.

Seven Straight Championships Best in the Nation

The Utes have won seven consecutive regular-season conference titles and nine overall in the Rick Majerus era, dating back to the 1989-90 season. Utah's string of seven straight titles is tied with Cincinnati's as the longest active streak in the nation.

Utah won the WAC regular-season championship outright in 1991 and shared it in 1993 before winning five straight outright titles from 1995-99 (the last three being divisional titles). Utah went 10-4 in conference play in 1999-2000 to share the inaugural Mountain West Conference championship with UNLV. The Utes also went 10-4 in 2000-01 to take the title with Brigham Young and Wyoming.

Inside the Numbers

* In 15 of Utah's 17 wins, the opponents have shot less than 50 percent from the field. The exceptions were San Diego State on Jan. 14 (51.9 percent) and Colorado State on Feb. 2 (51.0). Conversely, the opposition has shot better than 50 percent in three of Utah's five losses.

* Utah has held eight opponents to 40 percent or less from the field (Boise State, Troy State, Weber State, Southern Utah, Texas, Saint Mary's, New Mexico on Jan. 21 and San Diego State on Feb. 9). Utah held San Diego State to 29.3 percent from the field on Feb. 9, which is the lowest mark by a league opponent this season.

* Utah is 9-1 when outrebounding its opponents this season.

* The Utes have had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio in 14 of their 17 wins and a negative or even ratio in each of the five losses. Ironically, Utah had a season-low seven turnovers in its loss to Wyoming on Feb. 4.

* In 14 of the 17 wins, Utah has held its opponent to 63 points or less. In four of the five losses, the opponents surpassed the 70-point barrier.

* Utah has eclipsed the 80-point mark four times, winning all of those games (Pepperdine, 81-74, Troy State, 87-56, UNLV on Jan. 12, 86-63, New Mexico on Jan. 21, 81-51).

* Utah scored a season-high 47 points in the second half against UNLV on Jan. 12. The Utes also connected on a season-high 61.7 percent of their field goals in that game.

* Utah has won twice when trailing at the half this season, getting wins against Air Force on Jan. 19 and Weber State on Dec. 15. The Utes are 2-3 when behind after 20 minutes this season.

* Utah had a season-high nine blocked shots against Idaho State, missing the school single-game record by one. Chris Burgess and Travis Spivey both had career highs of four blocked shots in that game.

Rick's Remarks

On the loss to UNLV - "The biggest tale of the tape is they get 16 points because we can't block out. So, you don't block out and you don't run back on defense. They did that, we didn't. Case closed, period. Two of the most competitive elements of a game are transition "D" and the block out. They get 16 points off of the offensive boards and we don't get any. We had turnovers, no question. But we're there to win it, and we give up baskets on second shots and baskets in transition, and those are baskets we hadn't been giving up all year in the conference season. They picked up the tempo, they fed off the crowd, they played harder, they were more competitive, they were more physical. We don't have a lot of tough guys. It's probably my fault because I haven't gotten them on a competitive edge. It was very hard. I've got to go back to square one and try to get them to compete throughout the possession and compete harder overall."

 

 

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