Marc Jackson is Utah's top scorer in MWC play, averaging 15.3 points per game.
Feb. 2, 2003
Feb. 3 * 7:07 p.m. (MST) * Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000) * Salt Lake City
The Game at a Glance
Utah Head Coach: Rick Majerus New Mexico Head Coach: Ritchie McKay Alma Mater: Marquette, 1970 Alma Mater: Seattle Pacific, 1987 Record at Utah: 298-86/14th Season Record at New Mexico: 7-11/1st Season Career Record: 397-138/19th Season Career Record: 90-100/7th Season
Television: KJZZ-TV (Channel 14, AT&T Cable 3) in Salt Lake City. Steve Brown (play-by-play) and Mark Eaton (analyst).
Radio: Utah Sports Network (KALL-910 AM in Salt Lake City and affiliate stations). On the Internet at www.UtahUtes.com. Bill Marcroft (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst) and Brad Stone (host).
Series Record: Utah leads 71-37 Utah's Record Home/Away/Neutral: 46-5/23-31/2-1 Last Meeting: Utah defeated New Mexico 66-65 on Feb. 18, 2002 in Salt Lake City.
Utah hits the road to take on Colorado State on Saturday, Feb. 8 and Wyoming on Monday, Feb. 10. The game at Colorado State will tipoff at 7:07 p.m. (MST) and be televised by KJZZ-TV, while the Wyoming game will tip at 10:00 p.m. (MST) and be shown on ESPN's "Big Monday."
Quickly On Utah
The Runnin' Utes (15-4, 3-1 MWC) continue their first homestand of the Mountain West Conference season against New Mexico (7-11, 1-4 MWC) on Monday at 7:07 p.m. (MST) in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The game will be televised by KJZZ-TV in Salt Lake City and broadcast on KALL-910 AM and the Utah Sports Network.
Utah has won 10 of its last 11 and three in a row in Mountain West Conference action, getting wins at UNLV (66-63) on Jan. 20, at Brigham Young (79-75) on Jan. 25 and over Air Force (45-35) at home on Saturday night. Utah is 10-0 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 (57.7 ppg).
Three Utes are averaging double figures in scoring. Junior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 200) has the lead in scoring (12.4 ppg), and is shooting 42.6 percent from three-point range (46-for-108) and 83.7 percent from the free throw line. Junior center Tim Frost (6-10, 236) is second in scoring (12.4 ppg) and is second in rebounding (4.6 rpg). Senior forward Britton Johnsen (6-10, 210) is third in scoring (11.8 ppg) and leads the effort in rebounding (6.9 rpg). Freshman point guard Tim Drisdom (6-3, 203) leads the Utes in assists (3.5 apg).
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.
* Senior center Cameron Koford has a sprained left foot. He returned to practice on Thursday and played against Air Force on Saturday.
* Freshman forward Bryant Markson has a sprained toe on his left foot; however, he played against Air Force and is expected to be available against New Mexico.
Majerus Nearing Two Coaching Milestones
Rick Majerus is closing in on two milestones, one in his overall coaching career and one in his tenure at Utah.
* Majerus needs two more wins to register his 300th at Utah. Entering Monday's game against Air Force, he is 298-86 in his 14th season on The Hill. He will become the third coach in Utah basketball history with 300 wins.
* Majerus need three more wins to record the 400th of his career. He currently stands 397-138 in his 19th season as a college head coach. He would become the 12th coach to reach 400 wins in 19 seasons or less.
Scouting The Lobos
New Mexico is 7-11 overall and 1-4 in Mountain West Conference play. After getting a 66-62 win over San Diego State at home on Jan. 25, the Lobos have lost two in a row, falling to UNLV 75-66 in Albuquerque, N.M., on Jan. 27 and 80-64 at Brigham Young on Saturday. The Lobos are 0-6 on the road this season.
Senior guard Ruben Douglas (6-5, 200) is averaging 26.9 points per game to rank third in the nation and lead the MWC in scoring. He registered 39 points, hitting 7-of-12 three-pointers, against BYU on Saturday. Douglas also ranks first in the MWC in steals (2.94 apg) and three-pointers made per game (3.33) while shooting 39.0 percent from beyond the arc. Douglas leads New Mexico in rebounds (5.9 rpg) and free throw percentage (81.4). Sophomore forward Jamaal Williams (6-6, 230), who has started 12 games but is now coming off the bench, is the only other Lobo averaging double figures in scoring (12.4 ppg) and is third on the roster in rebounding (5.5 rpg). Junior guard Javin Tindall (5-11, 175) is third on the team in scoring average (8.7 ppg) and first in assists (2.5 apg).
The Lobos rank sixth in the MWC in scoring offense (69.8 ppg), seventh in scoring defense (70.9 ppg), seventh in rebound margin (-3.2 rpg), fourth in three-point percentage (.353) and second in three-pointers made per game (8.17).
Common Nonconference Opponents
Utah and New Mexico had three common foes during the nonconference season, with the Utes going 3-0 and the Lobos posting a 1-2 mark. Utah defeated Southern Utah (61-47) and IPFW (76-59) at home and won at Pepperdine (77-61). New Mexico played those three teams at home defeating IPFW (91-66) while losing to Southern Utah (69-57) and Pepperdine (88-68).
Head Coach Ritchie McKay
Ritchie McKay is in his first season at New Mexico and has a 90-100 record in his seventh year as a head coach.
McKay, who was the head coach at Colorado State for two seasons (1998-2000), returned to the Mountain West Conference this year following a two-year stint at Oregon State (2000-02) where he went 22-37. At CSU, McKay went 19-11 in 1998-99, taking the Rams to the third round of the NIT. His team went 18-12 in 1999-2000 when he was named Coach of the Year by College Hoops Insider magazine. McKay began his head coaching career at Portland State, going 24-29 in two seasons from 1996-98.
Utah-New Mexico Series Notes
* The Utes and Lobos meet for the 109th time on Monday night. The series dates back to a 59-47 win by Utah on Jan. 3, 1952 in Albuquerque, N.M., in a Skyline Conference match-up.
* Utah leads the all-time series 71-37 and has won nine of the last 11 games. The Runnin' Utes swept the season series last season, winning 81-51 on Jan. 21 in Albuquerque and 66-65 on Feb. 18 in Salt Lake City.
* In conference play, the Utes have a 68-34 advantage.
* In Salt Lake City, Utah has a 46-5 advantage and has won 13 in a row. The Utes haven't lost to the Lobos in the Huntsman Center since falling 79-76 on Feb. 16, 1989.
* Utah's most decisive win over UNM under Rick Majerus was 36 points (86-50) on March 10, 1995 in the WAC Tournament in Albuquerque, N.M.
* New Mexico's most decisive win over Utah during the Rick Majerus era was 16 points (87-71) on Feb. 1, 1997 in Albuquerque, N.M.
* Rick Majerus is 18-8 against New Mexico all-time with all of those games taking place during his tenure at Utah. He is 4-8 in against UNM in Albuquerque, winning four of the last eight games. That mark includes a 1-1 record in WAC Tournament games (1996-97). He is 12-0 against New Mexico in Salt Lake City.
* Ritchie McKay went 1-1 against Utah during his tenure at Colorado State, splitting the season series in 1999-2000. The Utes and Rams did not meet in 1998-99.
Britton Johnsen scored 23 points, including the go-ahead free throw with 7.6 seconds left, as Utah edged New Mexico 66-65 in Salt Lake City last season on Feb. 18. Travis Spivey, scored 12 points and Nick Jacobson added 10 for the Utes
Eric Chatfield missed a leaning 18-foot jumper just before the buzzer as Utah escaped. Chatfield and Patrick Dennehy had 16 points each for the Lobos.
Utah had only one field goal and one free throw in the final six minutes. Spivey scored inside to put Utah ahead 65-54 with 3:27 to play. But Chatfield hit two three-pointers in a 11-0 Lobo spurt to tie the game with 0:42 left. Johnsen, who had 11 rebounds and five assists, rebounded Jacobson's jumper to beat the shot clock with nine seconds to play and was fouled underneath. He missed his first foul shot but made the second for the win, which marked Utah's 12th straight over New Mexico at home.
New Mexico held Utah in single digits until 8:32 remained in the first half. The Lobos led 25-14 on Tim Lightfoot's three-pointer before Johnsen scored seven points in a 16-0 run. Jacobson gave Utah its first lead of the game at 26-25 on two free throws resulting from a technical on UNM coach Fran Fraschilla in the midst of the Ute surge.
Jacobson Stroking "J"s
Junior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 200) is Utah's top scorer this season (12.4 ppg) and paces the team in three-pointers made, hitting 46-of-108 (42.6 percent) from beyond the arc.
* Jacobson has scored in double-figures in 35 of the last 49 games dating back to last season, including 15 of the 19 games in 2002-03.
* Jacobson has already climbed into third place in career three-pointers made (154) and fifth in three-pointers attempted (365) at Utah. His career three-point percentage of 42.0 entering this season would have ranked fourth all-time at Utah.
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 second on the team in scoring (12.4 ppg), reaching double figures in 13 games this season, and is second in rebounds per game (4.6 rpg). He had a streak of six consecutive double-figure scoring games halted against Air Force on Saturday.
* An inside-outside threat, he is shooting 50.0 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.
Marc Makes His Mark Off The Bench
Sophomore guard Marc Jackson (6-1, 177) has been putting up impressive numbers off the bench, keying Utah's 3-1 start to the Mountain West Conference season.
* Jackson has been Utah's most productive scorer in conference action, scoring in double figures in all four games. In MWC play, Jackson his is averaging 15.3 points, shooting 61.9 percent from the field, 50.0 percent from three-point range and 90.0 percent (30-of-33) from the free throw line in 26.8 minutes per game. He has also led the Utes with 14 assists and five steals.
* Jackson led the Utes in scoring for the third consecutive game against Air Force on Feb. 1. He had 12 points, shooting 3-of-5 from the field, 2-of-2 from three-point range and 4-of-4 at the free throw line. Jackson also had a career-high six rebounds and a personal-best three steals in 30 minutes.
* He has made 18 consecutive free throws, hitting his last one against UNLV, all 13 against BYU and all four against Air Force. That breaks Nick Jacobson's school record for consecutive free throws made over three games set in 2000-01. The Utah school record for consecutive free throws over the course of a season is 39 by Keith Van Horn in 1995-96.
Game #19 Rewind
Marc Jackson scored 12 points and Utah held Air Force scoreless for more than five minutes down the stretch to beat the Falcons 45-35 Saturday night at the Huntsman Center. Utah (15-4, 3-1 MWC) led through most of the defensive struggle, but Air Force (10-8, 1-3 MWC) scored six consecutive points capped by Tom Bellairs' three-pointers for a 33-31 lead with 5:36 to play.
But the Utes kept the Falcons scoreless for the next 5:29 while scoring 12 straight points to win for the 10th time in their last 11 games.
Utah's Nick Jacobson scored eight of his 10 points in the game-clinching surge, going 5-of-6 at the line and adding a three-pointer. Jackson made both his three-point attempts and converted all four of his free throws.
Tim Keller had nine points and Bellairs added eight for Air Force, which has dropped four of its last five and is 1-13 against the Utes in recent years. The Falcons couldn't overcome 41 percent free throw shooting (7-for-17) and were outrebounded 36-20.
The Falcons came in leading the MWC in three-point percentage (.417) but shot just 2-of-13 from beyond the arc.
Utah remained improved to 10-0 at home and tied the school record for fewest points by an opponent during the Rick Majerus era, set last year in a win at Saint Mary's (41-35) on Jan. 7.
Inside the Numbers
* In nine of the 15 wins, Utah has held its opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field. The Utes have outshot their opponents 47.5 to 39.0 percent in their wins. In their four losses, the Utes have been outshoot 44.5 to 42.9 percent.
* The Utes have outrebounded their opponents in 14 of the 15 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 35.5 to 28.9. Utah had a season-best +16 advantage in its wins over Pepperdine (48-32) on Dec. 20 and Air Force (36-20) on Feb. 1. 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 15 wins, making 287 trips to the line compared to 260 for the opponents and shooting 68.6 to 66.5 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 13-0 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. Utah came back to win its first game when trailing with 5:00 remaining against Air Force on Feb. 1.
Noting The Season
* Air Force's 35 points on Feb. 1 equalled the lowest mark by an opponent during the Rick Majerus era. Saint Mary's scored 35 points on Jan. 7, 2002 to establish the record. The Falcons also set season-low marks by a Ute opponent for field goals made (13) and field goal attempts (34).
* Utah set season lows in scoring (45 points), field goals (15) and field goals made (40) against Air Force on Feb. 1.
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 16 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 14 teams under 60 points this season and four teams under 50 points.
* Nine 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 82 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 190-17 (.918) 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 171-12 (.934) at home.
* The Utes have won 129 of their last 136 games in the Jon M. Huntsman Center, including a 14-2 mark last season and a 10-0 start this season. Utah's current home court winning streak is 12 games.
* In conference home games over the past eight years, Utah is 60-2 (.968), which is the best record in the nation over that time span.