Jan. 10, 2011
SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah men's basketball team (7-9, 0-2 MWC) faces rival BYU (16-1, 2-0) Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. MT. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The Deseret First Duel rivalry series game will be televised live on The Mtn.
The Utes are coming off a 71-62 loss on Saturday to No. 6-ranked San Diego State. Utah took a halftime lead to the locker room but was undone by the Aztecs' second-half rally. Junior guard Josh "Jiggy" Watkins scored a career-high 24 points in the contest, while junior wing Will Clyburn recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman wing J.J. O'Brien contributed a career-high 10 rebounds and tied his career high of six points.
Clyburn remains Utah's leading scorer and rebounder at 18.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, ranking No. 2 in the Mountain West Conference in each category.
BYU is in the midst of a six-game winning streak since suffering its only loss of the season, an 86-79 defeat to UCLA on a neutral floor. The Cougars are 4-0 in road games this year, while Utah is 6-2 on its home floor.
The Cougar offense is paced by Jimmer Fredette's 24.9 points per game, which leads the MWC. He also leads the team in assists at 4.3 helpers per contest. Noah Hartsock is the team's leading rebounder at 5.8 boards per game.
Tuesday's meeting marks the 251st clash between the two historic rivals. Despite more than a century of competition on the hardwood, the series is currently tied, 125-125, following three consecutive series wins by BYU. Utah's last victory against the Cougars came during the 2008-09 season as the Utes captured a 94-88 overtime victory at the Huntsman Center.
Utah head coach Jim Boylen, now in his fourth year at the helm for the Utes, owns a 63-51 (.553) record. BYU is led by Dave Rose, now in his sixth season. Rose owns a 143-41 (.777) record as the Cougars' head coach.
In addition to being part of the Deseret First Duel rivaly series, Tuesday's game is being billed as the `Red-Out'. Fans are encouraged to wear red and join the Runnin' Utes, who will be wearing their red uniforms.