Nick Jacobson pours in 24 for the Utes against San Diego State.
March 11, 2004
By JOHN MARSHALL
AP Sports Writer
DENVER (AP) - Nick Jacobson hit seven 3-pointers and had 24 points to help Utah hold off San Diego State 75-69 in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament Thursday.
Utah (22-8) routed San Diego State 66-53 in the regular-season finale on Saturday, but had a much tougher go of it this time. The third-seeded Utes had 15 turnovers, mostly because of San Diego State's pressure, and had to hit 7 of 8 free throws in the final 1:10 to win.
Utah will meet the winner between Brigham Young and Wyoming in the semifinals on Friday.
Aerick Sanders had 18 points before fouling out late for San Diego State (14-16), which ended the season with four straight losses. The sixth-seeded Aztecs led 65-62 late and had plenty of chances down the stretch, but couldn't convert.
After the teams traded leads most of the second half, Utah went up 68-67 on a three-point play by Justin Hawkins with 1:47 left. Chris Walton had chance to put San Diego State back up with a short jumper in the lane, but his shot rimmed out.
Tim Drisdom followed with two free throws at 1:10 to put the Utes up three, then San Diego State's Wesley Stokes lost the ball out of bounds at the other end.
San Diego State forced a long 3-point attempt by Jacobson at the other end, but Richard Chaney sneaked in for the rebound and hit two free throws to put Utah up 72-67 with 25 seconds left. Chaney finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.
Utah shot 64 percent in the second half against San Diego State on Saturday and kept it going early in this one.
The Utes opened with a 10-4 run behind a pair of 3-pointers by Jacobson and
didn't taper off much, hitting 15 of 30 shots to lead 38-37 at halftime.
Jacobson didn't slow down, either.
He added three more 3-pointers, including one on a four-point play, in the final four minutes of the half to finish with 16 points. Jacobson was 7-of-11 overall from long range.
San Diego State, the Mountain West's worst shooting team, matched Utah almost shot for shot, finishing the first half 16-for-31 - 5-of-11 from 3-point range. Sanders led the way with 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting.