Luke Nevill of Australia tries to get around New Mexico forward David Chiotti during the first half.
Jan. 4, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Bryant Markson scored a career-high 24 points and pulled down eight rebounds to lead Utah to a 64-49 victory over New Mexico on Wednesday in a rematch of last season's Mountain West Conference championship game.
Johnnie Bryant added 13 points and the Utes (8-4, 1-0 MWC) avenged two losses to the Lobos last season. Utah won the MWC regular-season title last spring but lost to the Lobos (9-5) late in the regular season and again in the league tournament championship game.
Utah outrebounded New Mexico (9-5, 0-1) by a 38-27 margin and kept the Lobos winless in five games on the road this season.
Mark Walters scored 19 and David Chiotti added eight of his 13 points in the second half for the Lobos, who were just 16-for-49 from the field and never recovered after Utah started the second half with a 16-6 run.
It was just the second time in his career that Markson reached 20 points. He topped the 20 points he scored against Colorado State last January. Markson got a loud round of applause when he left in the final minute despite the small crowd that showed up on the night of college football's national championship game.
The home team has won the last seven regular-season meetings between the Utes and Lobos and it was quickly apparent in the second half that the streak was going to continue.
After going just 3-for-12 on 3-pointers in the first half, the Utes made four of their first seven shots from beyond the arc in the second half to take a 50-37 lead.
Kellen Walters got the Lobos within 47-34 on two free throws with 9:37 left to play, but Markson answered with his third 3-pointer on his third attempt.
The Utes coasted the rest of the way.