Richard Chaney blocks a shot by a BYU player.
March 12, 2004
By JOHN MOSSMAN
AP Sports Writer
DENVER - Nick Jacobson scored 19 points, including seven points in the last 4:27, and Utah edged BYU 54-51 Friday night in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament.
Utah, the No. 3 seed, will meet the winner of the Colorado State-UNLV game for the championship Saturday night.
Tim Frost added 10 points for Utah (23-8), which built a 10-point lead early in the second half and hung on at the finish.
Rafael Araujo had 13 points for BYU (21-8), the No. 2 seed whose nine-game winning streak was snapped.
Utah scored on five straight layups with crisp passing early in the second half, including two baskets on inbounds passes from Tim Drisdom. Jacobson's 3-pointer made it 39-29 with 12:59 remaining.
BYU chipped away at the deficit, then scored seven straight points including Mike Rose's 3-point basket to make it 43-43 with 6:26 left.
But Utah's Richard Chaney made a driving layup and Jacobson followed with a 3-pointer.
After Araujo cut the lead to 48-46, Jacobson hit a jumper with 2:42 left.
BYU's Mark Bigelow hit a jump hook with 1:09 to go, but Jacobson countered with layup on a pass from Andrew Bogut to push the lead back to four points with 50 seconds left.
Araujo, the conference's co-player of the year, hit a 3-pointer with 40 seconds left to make it 52-51.
Utah got a new shot clock when BYU's Kevin Woodberry committed a foul, and Chaney broke free and made a layup on a pass from Bogut with 0.2 seconds to go.
BYU's Mike Hall missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Bogut and Jacobson each had seven points in the first half to help Utah take
a 26-20 halftime lead. BYU had only one offensive rebound in the half and was
outrebounded 19-14 overall.
Bogut and Jacobson each hit 3-point baskets to start the game. Hall made a 3-pointer of his own, and Araujo's 17-foot jumper put BYU ahead 9-8.
Late in the half Utah scored six straight points, including Jacobson's 3-pointer, for a 20-14 lead.
After Araujo hit a jump hook, Frost made a free throw and a 3-pointer to give Utah its biggest lead of the half, 24-16, with 1:09 left.
BYU's Jake Shoff scored four points in the last 45 seconds of the half to help cut the deficit to six.