Jan. 17, 2008
Game No. 16 Saturday, Jan. 19 2 p.m.
Jon M. Huntsman Center Salt Lake City
Radio: Utah Sports Radio Network
Mike Lageschulte (play by play), Mark Rydalch (color analyst)
UtahUtes.com: Audio/live stats
Utes, Cougars to Face Off in Deseret First Duel Matchup
The University of Utah men's basketball team will host arch-rival BYU Saturday afternoon at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The 2:05 p.m. contest will air nationally on Versus and will be a part of the Deseret First Duel.
Utah enters Saturday's game with a 10-5 overall record and a 1-1 Mountain West Conference mark. The Utes are coming off a tough, 64-56 overtime loss at San Diego State Wednesday night. Utah led 30-20 at the break, but the Aztecs opened the second half with a 14-0 run. Utah trailed 50-41 late in the game, but rallied to send it to an extra period, 52-52. The overtime was all SDSU, however.
BYU is 12-5 (1-1 MWC) coming into the contest. The Cougars' last outing was a 70-41 road loss at UNLV Tuesday night. The Cougars shot just 33.3 percent in the game and turned the ball over 19 times in the loss. Lee Cummard was the only BYU player in double figures, scoring 11 points. UNLV hit 10 3-pointers in the game, while the Cougars were just 3-of-21 (.143) from beyond the arc.
Runnin' Ute Fast Breaks
Three Utah players are averaging double-digit points per game, while three more average 5.9 or more.
Wednesday's loss to San Diego State was the first time Utah fell this season when leading at halftime. The Utes are now 10-1 when going into the break with an edge on the scoreboard.
Utah has held five different opponents to 54 points or less this season. The Runnin' Utes did not hold a single 2006-07 opponent to less than 55 points.
Utah holds a 506-322 (.611) record against current members of the Mountain West Conference. The Utes are .500-or-better against all eight other MWC teams.
The Utes currently rank No. 1 in the MWC in field-goal percentage. The Utes are currently converting at a .503 clip. They ranked No. 6 in the nation in field-goal percentage this week.
Despite Wednesday's 4-of-9 (.444) performance at the free-throw line, Utah is still the top free-throw shooting team in the Mountain West Conference. The Utes hit at a rate of .746 from the charity stripe.
Utah is the top shooting team in the Mountain West Conference at this point in the season. The Runnin' Utes lead the MWC in field-goal (.503) and free-throw (.746) percentage. The Utes are second in 3-point field-goal percentage (.412). Utah has made more than half of its field-goal attempts in seven of its first 15 games. Utah is converting at a .503 clip from the field, which also ranks the Utes No. 6 in the nation. Utah also ranked No. 5 in the nation in 3-point field-goal percentage and No. 10 from the charity stripe in this week's NCAA rankings.
Drca Droppin' Dimes
Utah head coach Jim Boylen calls sophomore guard Luka Drca one of his most creative players. As of late, Drca has been creating plenty of opportunities for his teammates. In his last six outings, Drca has averaged 5.1 assists per game. He set a new career-high for helpers with six vs. Idaho State. He matched that number again Dec. 31 at Gonzaga. Drca followed that up with five assists vs. Air Force Jan. 5 and had five more vs. Dixie State last week. He remained consistent vs. SDSU Wednesday with five more dimes.