Tim Frost is averaging 12.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.
Jan. 29, 2003
Feb. 1 * 7:07 p.m. (MST) * Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000) * Salt Lake City
The Game at a Glance
Utah Head Coach: Rick Majerus Air Force Head Coach: Joe Scott Alma Mater: Marquette, 1970 Alma Mater: Princeton, 1987 Record at Utah: 297-86/14th Season Record at Air Force: 27-47/3rd Season Career Record: 396-138/19th Season Career Record: 27-47/3rd Season
Radio: Utah Sports Network (KALL-910 AM in Salt Lake City and affiliate stations). Bill Marcroft (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst) and Brad Stone (host). On the Internet at www.UtahUtes.com and www.kall910.com.
Series Record: Utah leads 37-7 Utah's Record Home/Away/Neutral: 22-1/14-6/1-0 Last Meeting: Utah defeated Air Force 59-51 on Feb. 16, 2002 in Salt Lake City.
Utah hosts New Mexico on Monday, Feb. 3 at 7:07 p.m. (MST) in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The game will be televised by KJZZ-TV. The Runnin' Utes then hit the road to take on Colorado State on Saturday, Feb. 8 and Wyoming on Monday, Feb. 10.
Quickly On Utah
The Runnin' Utes (14-4, 2-1 MWC) play their first home game of the Mountain West Conference season against Air Force (10-7, 1-3 MWC) on Saturday at 7:07 p.m. (MST) in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The game will be broadcast on KALL-910 AM and the Utah Sports Network.
Following a 2-2 start to the season, Utah has won 12 of its last 14. The Utes have won two in a row, getting a 66-63 win at UNLV on Jan. 20 and a 79-75 victory at Brigham Young on Jan. 25. Utah is 9-0 at home this season, 4-2 on the road and 1-2 on neutral courts. The Runnin' Utes rank ninth in the NCAA in scoring defense (59.0 ppg).
Three Utes are averaging double figures in scoring. Junior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 200) is tied for the team lead in scoring (12.6 ppg), and is shooting 42.5 percent from three-point range (45-for-106) and 86.1 percent from the free throw line. Junior center Tim Frost (6-10, 236) is also tied for the lead in scoring (12.6 ppg) and is second in rebounding (4.6 rpg). Senior forward Britton Johnsen (6-10, 210) is third in scoring (12.1 ppg) and first in rebounding (6.8 rpg). Freshman point guard Tim Drisdom (6-3, 203) leads the Utes in assists (3.6 apg).
Marc Jackson Named MWC Player of the Week
Marc Jackson was named the Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week (Jan. 19-25) after leading the Utes to two road victories last week. This is Jackson's first player of the week honor of his career.
Jackson came off the bench and led the Utes in scoring in both road games last week. In 25 minutes played in each contest, he averaged 19.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists, while shooting 62 percent (8-of-13) from the field and 91 percent (20-of-22) from the free throw line.
In Utah's 66-63 win at UNLV last Monday, Jackson scored a career-high 21 points on 6-of-7 field goals and 7-of-9 free throws to lead the Utes. He also grabbed four rebounds, dished out two assists and had a steal. His nine points in less than 90 seconds during the first half helped spark a 12-0 run by Utah that turned a 23-14 deficit into a 26-23 lead.
Jackson's performance at the free throw line Saturday helped the Utes snap the nation's longest home court win streak at 44, as Utah defeated BYU, 79-75. Jackson paced the Utes with 17 points, four rebounds and five assists, while sinking all 13 free throw attempts. He went 9-for-9 from the line in the second half, including 4-for-4 in the final 15 seconds to seal the win for Utah.
Long Road Swing, Late Home Opener To Conference Schedule
With its win at Brigham Young on Saturday, Utah wrapped-up a three-game road swing to tipoff its Mountain West Conference season. The Utes hadn't opened their conference season with three consecutive road games since 1995. That season, Utah opened with a 64-57 loss at BYU on Jan. 3, a 79-71 win at Fresno State on Jan. 7 and a 78-66 win at Air Force on Jan. 9.
Utah will play its first conference home game against Air Force on Saturday. This is the first time Utah has opened its conference home schedule in February since the 1964-65 season, when Utah had its first WAC home game against BYU on Feb. 20. The Jack Gardner-coached Utes opened conference play with three road games, then played three nonconference games before going back on the road for two more conference games.
From the Training Room
Senior forward Britton Johnsen missed two games after tearing a ligament in his right thumb at Utah State on Nov. 17. Johnsen made his return against Alabama on Dec. 30 and has been wearing a splint on his right hand. On Jan. 12, he began rehabilitation and was fitted with a smaller split that he has continued to wear. Johnsen sprained the thumb against UNLV on Jan. 20, but the ligament incurred no damage.
Scouting The Falcons
Air Force is 10-7 overall and 1-3 in Mountain West Conference play. The Falcons broke a three-game losing streak with a 75-71 win over UNLV at home last Saturday. The Academy opened its MWC schedule with three straight losses, falling at home to San Diego State (63-48) on Jan. 11 and losing on the road to Colorado State (51-49) on Jan. 18 and Wyoming (46-44) on Jan. 20. Air Force is 3-5 on the road this season.
Three Falcons are averaging over 10 points a game, all shooting at least 43 percent from three-point range. Sophomore guard Tim Keller (6-3, 180) leads the team in scoring (14.9 ppg) and steals (31). He is shooting 47.0 percent from three-point range (55-of-177), leading the MWC and ranking 13th in the NCAA, and 79.6 percent from the free throw line. Junior forward Joel Gerlach (6-6, 195) is second in scoring (13.3 ppg), hitting 43.9 percent of his three-point tries, and has a team-high 22 blocked shots. Junior forward A.J. Kuhle (6-4, 185) is third in scoring (10.5 ppg), hitting 43.3 percent from beyond the arc. Senior center Tom Bellairs (6-7, 220) leads Air Force in rebounds (4.8 rpg) and assists (3.2 apg).
The Falcons lead the NCAA in scoring defense (54.0 ppg). Air Force ranks eighth in the MWC in scoring (59.7 ppg), first in scoring defense (54.0 ppg), first in three-point percentage (.417), first in three-pointers made per game (9.41), first in assist/turnover ratio (1.28) and eighth in rebound margin (-7.7 rpg).
Head Coach Joe Scott
Joe Scott is 27-47 in his third season at Air Force. He led the Falcons to an 8-21 overall record in 2000-01, followed by a 9-19 record last season. His teams have gone 3-11 in the MWC both of his previous years.
Scott came to the the Academy from Princeton, where he spent eight years as an assistant under Hall-of-Famer Pete Carrill and Bill Carmody. Scott was a four-year lettermen and a three-year starter at point guard for Princeton. Scott helped the Tigers to the 1984 Ivy League championship and a first round NCAA Tournament victory over San Diego.
Utah-Air Force Series Notes
* Utah and Air Force meet for the 45th time on Saturday. The Runnin' Utes have won two in a row and 12 of the last 13 games from the Falcons. The series dates back to a 108-57 win by the Runnin' Utes on Dec. 23, 1965 in Salt Lake City.
* Utah leads the all-time series 37-7. Utah had won 10 in a row before Air Force defeated Utah in the second meeting in 2001 by a 71-60 margin on March 1 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
* In Salt Lake City, the Utes are 22-1 and have won 11 in a row. Their last loss was 67-57 on Jan. 26, 1989. Last season, Utah defeated Air Force 59-51 on Feb. 16.
* Utah's most decisive win over Air Force under Rick Majerus was 26 points (87-61) on Feb. 18, 1993 in Salt Lake City.
* Air Force has only one win against Utah with Rick Majerus on the bench. The Falcons won 91-89 on Feb. 19, 1994 in overtime in Colorado Springs. When Air Force won in 2000-01, Dick Hunsaker was serving as Utah's acting head coach.
* In conference play, the Utes have a 33-7 advantage.
* Rick Majerus is 19-1 against Air Force all-time and 18-1 during his tenure at Utah.
* Joe Scott is 1-3 against Utah and 0-2 head-to-head against Rick Majerus.
Britton Johnsen scored seven of his 17 points in a 19-5 stretch over the last six minutes, and Utah rallied to beat Air Force 59-51 in Salt Lake City last season on Feb. 16. Phil Cullen finished with 13 points and Jeff Johnsen had 12 points for the Utes.
Trace Caton gave Utah its first lead at 47-46 with 4:39 to play when he stole the ball and converted two free throws following a foul by A.J. Kuhle on the breakaway. Kuhle led Air Force with 13 points and Tom Bellairs added 12 points for the Falcons.
The Utes made just one of their first seven shots and did not hit double figures until there was 4:32 left in the opening half, when Cullen hit a three-pointer to get it to 22-12. Cullen followed with another trey and converted a pair from the line as Utah went on a 13-0 run to tie the game at 22.
Air Force led 28-24 at halftime and took a 46-40 edge on Bellairs' layup with 7:18 to go. The Falcons did not score again until Bellairs converted a layup with one minute left. Lamoni Yazzie hit a three for Air Force with eight seconds to go to cap the scoring.
Both teams shot 17-of-32 from the field (53.1 percent) and committed 14 turnovers. Air Force hit 7-of-14 three-pointers while the Utes made just 5-of-13. Utah had a 24 to 18 edge on the boards.
Great Britton: Senior Forward Named Wooden Award Candidate
Senior forward Britton Johnsen (6-10, 210) was named to the Wooden Award Preseason All-America Team and is one of 50 players in the nation considered an early candidate for John R. Wooden Award, presented annually to college basketball's player of the year.
* Johnsen missed two games after he tore a ligament in his right thumb against Utah State on Dec. 17. He returned to the lineup against Alabama on Dec. 30 and has played in the last seven games.
* As he wraps-up his four-year career with the the Utes, Johnsen is closing in on 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. Currently, he has 931 points and 498 rebounds. He would become the 29th player all-time at Utah with 1,000 points.
* The Murray, Utah, native had his fourth double-double of the season and the 11th of his career with 12 points and 12 rebounds against Brigham Young on Jan. 25. It was his seventh double-dip in the last 23 games he's played in dating back to last season.
* Johnsen had his best offensive output since returning from the injury on Jan. 18 against San Diego State. He had a game-high 16 points, shooting 5-of-11 from the field, 2-of-4 from three-point range and 4-of-6 at the line. Johnsen also led the Utes with seven rebounds and three steals in 31 minutes.
* Johnsen has scored in double figures in 11 of the 16 games he's played in this season, leading Utah in scoring four times. Dating back to the 2000-01 season, Johnsen has scored in double figures in 49 of his last 71 contests.
* Johnsen has led Utah in rebounding in 10 of the 16 games he's appeared in this season, averaging 6.8 boards per contest. He also led the Utes in rebounding 14 of the final 20 games last season, averaging 7.4 rebounds per game during that stretch.
Frost Formidable Inside
Junior center Tim Frost (6-10, 236) has established himself as a strong interior presence in his first season with the Utes. Frost is tied for the team lead in scoring (12.6 ppg), reaching double figures in 13 games this season, and is second in rebounds per game (4.6 rpg).
* An inside-outside threat, he is shooting 49.7 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from outside the arc. He also has 11 blocked shots.
* He had his highest scoring game of the conference season with 16 points in 26 minutes against Brigham Young on Jan. 25.
Jackson and Koford Providing Relief
* Jackson has been Utah's most productive scorer in conference action, scoring in double figures in all three games. In MWC play, Jackson his is averaging 16.3 points, shooting 62.5 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from three-point range and 89.7 percent from the free throw line in 25.7 minutes per game.
* Koford had a season-high tying seven rebounds, four points, a blocked shot and a steal in 25 minutes against UNLV on Jan. 20. The Plain City, Utah, native scored in double figures in back-to-back games for the first time in his college career against Pepperdine (Dec. 20) and San Diego (Dec. 23). Against Pepperdine, Koford had a career-high six blocked shots, 10 points (3-4 FG, 4-6 FT) and a season-high seven rebounds in 21 minutes. In the San Diego game, he had a season-high 12 points (5-8 FG, 2-2 FT) and six rebounds in 20 minutes. He leads the Utes with 25 blocked shots on the season.
Game #18 Rewind
The Utes (14-4, 2-1 MWC) were playing without coach Rick Majerus, who missed the game to attend the funeral of the stepfather of former All-American Andre Miller. Assistant Kerry Rupp took over for Majerus and the Utes got the first win by an opponent at the Marriott Center since Feb. 17 2000, when New Mexico beat the Cougars 78-74.
BYU (13-5, 2-1 MWC) started the streak two days later with an 83-82 win over UNLV and carried it until Saturday, when the Utes were 25-for-51 (.490) from the floor and outrebounded the Cougars 38-33.
Travis Hansen, who scored 21 and had 12 rebounds, gave BYU a 57-56 lead midway through the second half, but the Cougars couldn't hang on to it while going 11-for-27 from the floor. BYU had shot 54 percent in the first half.
Rafael Araujo had 19 points and nine rebounds, Mark Bigelow added 16 points and Ricky Bower scored 10 for the Cougars.
Jackson gave Utah a 65-63 lead on a three-point play with 6:34 left in the game, then broke a 65-all tie when he drove through the BYU defense for a layup that put the Utes up for good.
The Cougars had several chances in the last two minutes but couldn't take advantage of them. Down 71-67 with 1:50 left, Nashif missed a pair of free throws. About a minute later, Bower got BYU to 73-69 and had a chance at a three-point play after being fouled by Johnsen, but Araujo was called for a lane violation.
BYU cut it to 77-75 with 6.5 seconds left, but that was it for BYU as Jackson sealed it with two more free throws, completing a 17-for-17 performance from the line.
Inside the Numbers
* In eight of the 14 wins, Utah has held its opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field. The Utes have outshot their opponents 48.0 to 39.0 percent in its wins. In its four losses, the Utes have been outshoot 44.5 to 42.9 percent.
* The Utes have outrebounded their opponents in 13 of the 14 wins. The exception was a 32-30 deficit in the win over Alabama. In their wins, the Utes have outrebounded the opponents by an average of 35.4 to 29.6. Utah had a season-best 48-32 advantage (+16) on the glass in its win over Pepperdine on Dec. 20. In three of the four losses, Utah has been outrebounded. Its average rebound deficit in losses is 35.0 to 30.3.
* The Utes have had the advantage at the free throw line in their 14 wins, making 266 trips to the line compared to 243 for the opponents and shooting 69.9 to 68.3 percent. In the four losses, the opposite has been the case with the opponents outshooting Utah at the free throw line 141 attempts to 60, and making 93 (66.0 percent) to 34 (56.7 percent).
* Utah has yet to relinquish a lead with 5:00 remaining in the second half, going 14-0 when leading at that stage in the game. The Utes are also 12-0 when leading at halftime. Utah's win over UNLV on Jan. 20 was its first when trailing at the half this season. The Utes are 1-3 when trailing at the half and 2-4 when trailing or tied after 20 minutes.
One of the trademarks of a Utah team during the Rick Majerus era is a stifling half-court defense. Since 1989-90, Utah has ranked in the top 30 in the nation 10 times in scoring defense, nine times in rebound margin, eight times in field goal percentage defense and eight times in scoring margin.
* This season, Utah ranks ninth in the NCAA in scoring defense (59.0 ppg) as of Jan. 27. Since an 83-79 overtime loss to Arizona State on Nov. 27, the highest point total Utah has surrendered over the next 14 games is 75 points in a win at BYU (79-75) on Jan. 25. Every other opponent has scored 63 points or less.
* The Utes have held 13 teams under 60 points this season and three teams under 50 points. Alabama scored just 49 points against the Utes on Dec. 30.
* Eight opponents have shot under 40 percent from the field this season. No team has shot 50 percent from the field on Utah in 2002-03.
* Utah has not allowed an opponent to score 80 points in 81 consecutive games that have ended in regulation. The last team to score 80 points on the Utes in a 40-minute game was Wyoming (88-61) on Feb. 28, 2000 in Laramie, Wyo.
* An opponent reached the 80-point mark on Utah for the first time in 70 games in its 83-79 overtime loss to Arizona State on Nov. 27.
* Last season, Utah ranked 13th in the NCAA in scoring defense (61.3).
Utes Tough At Home In the Huntsman Center
Utah is 189-17 (.917) in the Huntsman Center during the Majerus era and has never lost back-to-back home games. With Majerus on the bench, taking out the games he missed during the 1989-90 and 2000-01 seasons, the Utes are 170-12 (.934) at home.
* The Utes have won 128 of their last 135 games in the Jon M. Huntsman Center, including a 14-2 mark last season and an 9-0 start this season. Utah's current home court winning streak is 11 games.
* In conference home games over the past eight years, Utah is 59-2 (.967), which is the best record in the nation over that time span.
* Utah has gone unbeaten seven times in the 33-year history of the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Six of those undefeated home seasons have come under Rick Majerus: 1990-91 (16-0), 1992-93 (15-0), 1994-95 (15-0), 1997-98 (13-0), 1998-99 (14-0) and 1999-2000 (17-0).
* The Utes' all-time record in the Huntsman Center is 421-88. Utah got its 400th win in the history of the facility on Nov. 20, 2001 against Boise State.