Britton Johnsen has scored in double figures in 13 of the 19 games he's played in this season.
Feb. 9, 2003
Feb. 10 * 10:00 p.m. (MST) * Arena-Auditorium (15,000) * Laramie, Wyo.
The Game at a Glance
Utah Head Coach: Rick Majerus Wyoming Head Coach: Steve McClain Alma Mater: Marquette, 1970 Alma Mater: Chadron State, 1984 Record at Utah: 300-86/14th Season Record at Wyoming: 95-46/5th Season Career Record: 399-138/19th Season Career Record: 95-46/5th Season
Television: ESPN. Bob Carpenter (play-by-play) and Jimmy Dykes (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 82-69 Utah's Record Home/Away/Neutral: 52-22/28-45/2-2 Last Meeting: Utah lost to Wyoming 57-56 on March 2, 2002 in Laramie, Wyo.
Utah opens a three-game homestand against San Diego State on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 7:07 p.m. (MST). The game will be televised by KJZZ-TV. The Runnin' Utes then host UNLV on Monday, Feb. 17 at 7:07 p.m. (MST).
Quickly On Utah
The Runnin' Utes (17-4, 5-1 MWC) conclude the first half of their Mountain West Conference schedule against Wyoming (16-5, 4-2 MWC) on Monday at 10:00 p.m. (MST) in Laramie, Wyo. The game will be televised as part of ESPN's "Big Monday" and broadcast on KALL-910 AM and the Utah Sports Network.
Utah has won 12 of its last 13 and five in a row in Mountain West Conference action. The Utes are tied with BYU for first place in the MWC. Utah opened its two-game swing along the front range of the Rockies with a 71-66 win over Colorado State on Saturday night. Last weekend, the Runnin' Utes swept a pair of home games, defeating Air Force 45-35 on Saturday and New Mexico 78-68 on Monday. Utah is 11-0 at home this season, 5-2 on the road and 1-2 on neutral courts. The Runnin' Utes ranked fifth in the NCAA in scoring defense as of Feb. 4 and are currently giving up 58.6 points per game.
Three Utes are averaging double figures in scoring. Junior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 200) has the lead in scoring (12.7 ppg) and is shooting 43.1 percent from three-point range (50-for-116). Junior center Tim Frost (6-10, 236) is second in scoring (12.4 ppg) and is second in rebounding (4.7 rpg). Senior forward Britton Johnsen (6-10, 210) is third in scoring (12.2 ppg) and leads the effort in rebounding (7.1 rpg). Freshman point guard Tim Drisdom (6-3, 203) leads the Utes in assists (3.6 apg). Sophomore guard Marc Jackson (6-1, 177) is Utah's top scorer in MWC play (15.7 ppg) and is the team's best free throw shooter at 87.7 percent, ranking 19th in the NCAA as of Feb. 4.
Milestone Coaching Victories For Majerus
Rick Majerus has reached one coaching milestone and is closing in on another, the former in his tenure at Utah and the later in his overall coaching career.
* Majerus registered his 300th career win at Utah with a 71-66 win over Colorado State on Saturday night, becoming the third coach in Utah basketball history with 300 wins. Entering Monday's game against Wyoming, he is 300-86 in his 14th season on The Hill.
* Majerus needs one more win to record the 400th of his career. He currently stands 399-138 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 Cowboys
Wyoming is 16-5 overall and in third place in the Mountain West Conference standings with a 4-2 record. After opening league play with four consecutive wins, the Cowboys have dropped two in a row. The Pokes lost at San Diego State (80-70) last Monday night and fell to Brigham Young (74-66) on Saturday afternoon at the Arena-Auditorium. Wyoming is 9-1 at home this season after the loss to BYU.
Senior guard Donta Richardson (6-2, 170) leads the team in scoring (16.9 ppg), shooting 34.7 percent from three-point range and 86.5 percent from the free throw line. He also has a team-best 28 steals. Senior center Uche Nsonwu-Amadi (6-10, 260) was tied for ninth in the NCAA in rebounds as of Feb. 4 and currently is averaging 10.7 boards per game. He is UW's second-leading scorer (13.9 ppg). Sophomore guard Jay Straight (5-11, 165) leads Wyoming in assists (3.3 apg) and is third in scoring (9.2 ppg). Senior guard Marcus Bailey, a first team all-MWC selection last season who averaged 15.6 points per game, was lost for the season in late December with a knee injury.
As of Feb. 4, UW ranked 28th in the NCAA in rebound margin, and has a 5.6 per game advantage over its opponents heading into Monday's game.
Head Coach Steve McClain
Steve McClain has a 95-46 career record in his fifth season at Wyoming. Last season, he led the Cowboys to a 22-9 record and an 11-3 mark in league play to claim UW's second consecutive Mountain West title. Wyoming also advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, upsetting sixth-seeded Gonzaga in the first round before falling to Arizona. McClain's team went 20-10 in 2000-02 and finished in a three-way tie with the Utah and BYU for the MWC title at 10-4, capturing the Pokes' first conference title in 15 seasons. It was also their first 20-win season since 1990-91.
Prior to going to Wyoming, McClain served as an assistant coach for Billy Tubbs at TCU. During his four seasons at TCU, McClain helped the Horned Frogs to one NIT appearance (1997), one NCAA appearance (1998) and one conference title (1998). In 1994 as the head coach at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, he led his team to the National Junior College Championship while earning NJCAA National Coach of the Year honors.
Utah-Wyoming Series Notes
* Utah and Wyoming meet for the 152nd time on Monday night in a series that dates back to a 41-25 win by Utah on March 11, 1914 in Laramie, Wyo. Before not meeting during the 1996-97 and 1998-99 seasons, the Runnin' Utes and Cowboys had met every year since 1943-44.
* Utah leads the all-time series 82-69. Wyoming has won three in a row with two of those wins coming in Laramie. The Utes' last win over the Cowboys was 83-71 on Jan. 8, 2001 in Salt Lake City.
* In conference regular season play, Utah has a 70-58 advantage.
* In Laramie, the Cowboys have a 45-28 edge and have win seven in a row. Utah's last win in the Arena-Auditorium win was 64-45 on Jan. 28, 1993.
* Utah's most decisive win over Wyoming during Rick Majerus' tenure was 19 points (64-45) on Jan. 28, 1993.
* Wyoming most decisive win over Utah under Rick Majerus was 13 points (70-57) on Feb. 22, 1992.
* Rick Majerus is 11-8 against Wyoming all-time with all of those games taking place during his tenure at Utah. Majerus is 7-2 in Salt Lake City and 4-6 in Laramie, including one win during the 1991 WAC Tournament.
* Steve McClain is 4-2 against Utah during his tenure at Wyoming, including a 3-0 mark in Laramie.
Marcus Bailey sank two free throws with five seconds left and scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half in leading Wyoming past Utah 57-56 last season on March 2 for the Mountain West Conference championship, the Cowboys' first outright league title in 20 years.
The loss snapped Utah's streak of seven consecutive regular-season conference titles. The Utes had been tied with Cincinnati for the longest active streak in the nation.
The game was tied at 51-all with 3:28 left when Donta Richardson and Uche Nsonwu-Amadi each sank a pair of free throws for a 55-51 Wyoming lead. Nick Jacobson, who led Utah with 24 points, scored to pull Utah within a basket at the 2:02 mark.
Neither team could manage to score until Bailey was fouled with four seconds left on a botched Utah in-bounds play. He sank both foul shots, which were needed when Jacobson dropped in a long three-pointer as time ran out.
A record crowd of 16,089 was in attendance at the Arena-Auditorium.
Tough Trip Continues
The road swing along the front range of the Rocky Mountains hasn't been any easy one for the Utes in recent years. In fact, Utah hasn't won at both Colorado State and Wyoming since the 1990-91 season. That year, the two games weren't played as one road trip. The Utes won at Wyoming on Jan. 17 (90-83) and won at Colorado State on Feb. 21 (67-56). Utah hasn't swept Colorado State and Wyoming on the same road trip since the 1975-76 season.
Last season, Utah split the two-game swing with a 72-62 win at Colorado State on Feb. 28 and a 57-56 loss at Wyoming on March 2 in the game that decided the MWC regular-season championship. The two previous seasons, the Utes were swept on the trip by the Rams and Cowboys. In 2000-01, the Utes lost to the Cowboys on Jan. 20 (78-77 in OT) and the Rams on Jan. 22 (73-65). In 1999-2000, Utah fell at Colorado State on Feb. 26 (60-49) and at Wyoming on Feb. 28 (88-61).
Wyoming has won seven in a row over the Utes in Laramie. Utah's last win in the Arena-Auditorium win was 64-45 on Jan. 28, 1993.
Great Britton: Senior Forward Among MWC's Best All-Around Players
Senior forward Britton Johnsen (6-10, 210) was one of 50 players named to the Wooden Award Preseason All-America Team. He is also the reigning Mountain West Conference Player of the Year.
* As he wraps-up his four-year career with the the Utes, Johnsen is closing in on becoming the 29th player to score 1,000 points, currently totaling 969. He also has 523 rebounds in his career.
* Johnsen had his best offensive game since Nov. 27 (season-high 23 points against Arizona State) when he got 17 points (6-9 FG, 2-2 3FG) in 33 minutes against New Mexico on Feb. 3. He also had nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot. He followed that up with 15 points and eight rebounds against Colorado State on Saturday.
* 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 has scored in double figures in 13 of the 19 games he's played in this season, leading Utah in scoring five times. Dating back to the 2000-01 season, Johnsen has scored in double figures in 51 of his last 74 contests.
* Johnsen has led Utah in rebounding in 13 of the 19 games he's appeared in this season-including the last six games-averaging 7.1 boards per contest.
Jacobson Stroking "J"s
Junior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 200) is Utah's top scorer this season (12.7 ppg) and paces the team in three-pointers made, hitting 50-of-116 (43.1 percent) from beyond the arc.
* Jacobson has scored in double-figures in 37 of the last 51 games dating back to last season, including 16 of the 21 games in 2002-03.
* In the last four games, Jacobson has gone for at least 10 points against BYU, Air Force, New Mexico and Colorado State. He has averaged 13.3 points per game while shooting 42.1 percent from the field, 50.0 percent (7-of-14) from three-point range and 73.7 percent from the free throw line over that stretch. Jacobson also tied a career-high with six rebounds against New Mexico on Feb. 3.
Game #21 Rewind
Britton Johnsen had 10 of his 15 points in the second half, and Nick Jacobson and Marc Jackson added 13 each as Utah defeated Colorado State 71-66 Saturday night at Moby Arena. Johnsen was 5-for-7 while Jackson came off the bench to help Utah win its fifth straight.
The victory gave coach Rick Majerus his 300th win in 14 years at Utah to join Vadal Peterson (385) and Jack Gardner (339) as Utah coaches with 300 wins.
Matt Nelson led Colorado State with 20 points and eight rebounds. Brian Greene added 15 to reach double-figure scoring for a conference-record 31 straight games.
Greene's reverse layup extended CSU's halftime lead to 49-41, but Tim Frost's three-pointer got Utah within 55-53 with 8:31 left. Darien Chavis' short jumper made it 57-53 for CSU, but the Utes went on an 11-0 run to put them ahead 64-57 with 3:15 left.
Nelson ended the drought with a layup with 2:48 remaining. Jacobson countered with two free throws and sealed the win with a jump shot in the last 24 seconds.
Colorado State was ahead 35-32 at the half after Nelson's rebound basket at the buzzer. Nelson finished a 12-0 run with a hook shot and two free throws to give Colorado State its biggest lead, 26-19 with 4:41 left in the first half.
In addition to his 11 points, Frost also had a season-best four blocked shots. Utah had a 35-30 edge on the glass and committed a season-low seven turnovers. The Rams outshot the Utes 50.0 to 43.9 percent to become the first team to shoot at least 50 percent against Utah this season.
Inside the Numbers
* In nine of the 17 wins, Utah has held its opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field. The Utes have outshot their opponents 47.4 to 39.7 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 16 of the 17 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 29.0. 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.
* Utah has yet to relinquish a lead with 5:00 remaining in the second half, going 16-0 when leading at that stage in the game. The Utes are also 14-0 when leading at halftime, 2-3 when trailing at the half and 3-4 when trailing or tied after 20 minutes. Utah's win over UNLV on Jan. 20 was its first when trailing at the half this season. The U. also came back from a 35-32 halftime deficit at Colorado State. The Utes came back to win their first game when trailing with 5:00 remaining 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 fifth in the NCAA in scoring defense (58.3 ppg) as of Feb. 4. Since an 83-79 overtime loss to Arizona State on Nov. 27, the highest point total Utah has surrendered over the next 18 games is 75 points in a win at BYU (79-75) on Jan. 25. Every other opponent has scored 68 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. Colorado State on Feb. 8 is the only team to shoot 50 percent or better from the field on Utah in 2002-03.
* Utah has not allowed an opponent to score 80 points in 84 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.