Nick Jacobson led Utah with 13 points in win over No. 1 Alabama.
Dec. 31, 2002
Jan. 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 Weber State Head Coach: Joe Cravens Alma Mater: Marquette, 1970 Alma Mater: Texas-Arlington, 1977 Record at Utah: 291-85/14th Season Record at Weber State: 60-39/4th Season Career Record: 390-137/19th Season Career Record: 115-91/8th 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 and www.kall910.com. Bill Marcroft (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst) and Brad Stone (host).
Series Record: Utah leads 18-12 Utah Home/Away/Neutral: 12-3/6-9/0-0 Last Meeting: Utah defeated Weber State 70-59 on Dec. 15, 2001 in Ogden, Utah.
Quickly On Utah
The Utes (8-3) play their second consecutive home game against Weber State (9-4) on Friday at 7:07 p.m. (MST) at 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.
Following a 2-2 start to the season, Utah has won six of its last seven. The Utes dethroned previously unbeaten Alabama, ranked No. 1 by AP and No. 3 by ESPN/USA Today, 51-49 on Monday night at the Huntsman Center. On their pre-Christmas road swing, the Runnin' Utes took two of the three games. After falling at Utah State 59-54 on Dec. 17, the Utes rebounded with a 77-61 win at Pepperdine on Dec. 20 and a 64-58 win at San Diego on Dec. 23. Utah is 5-0 at home this season.
Three Utes are averaging double figures in scoring. Senior forward Britton Johnsen (6-10, 210) paces Utah in both scoring (13.3 ppg) and rebounding (6.4 rpg) average. Johnsen is also shooting 50.0 percent from the field. Junior center Tim Frost (6-10, 236) is second both in scoring (12.7 ppg) and rebounding (4.9 rpg) average. Frost also has seven blocked shots. Junior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 200) ranks third in scoring average (12.6 ppg), and is shooting 41.5 percent from three-point range (27-for-65) and 85.7 percent from the free throw line. Freshman point guard Tim Drisdom (6-3, 203) leads the Utes in assists (3.7 apg) and is shooting 45.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Utah Gets 1,500th Win
With their win over Alabama on Monday night, the Runnin' Utes recorded the 1,500th win in the history of Utah Basketball. Utah became just the 13th NCAA Division I program with 1,500 wins.
Utah's current record is 1,500-779. Its all-time winning percentage of .658 currently ranks 10th-best among all NCAA Division I programs.
From the Training Room
* Senior forward Britton Johnsen, a Wooden Award candidate and the 2001-02 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year, returned to action Monday. He missed the two previous games due to surgery on Dec. 18 to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. Johnsen sustained the injury early in the first half of Utah's contest at Utah State on Nov. 17, but finished the game. Johnsen returned to practice on Dec. 27 and will need to wear a splint on his right hand for two weeks.
* Sophomore guard Marc Jackson resprained his right ankle in practice on Dec. 26 and is listed as doubtful for the Weber State game. Jackson has already missed four games this season after initially spraining the ankle on Nov. 17.
Scouting Weber State
The Wildcats are 9-4 and have won five of their last seven. Weber State won 66-65 at Boise State on Dec. 23 before taking second place in the Tennessee-Chattanooga Invitational. The Wildcats defeated Maine 69-66 in the first round on Dec. 29 and lost to Chattanooga 75-63 in the championship game.
Four starters and nine letterwinners return from last year's team that went 18-11 overall and placed third in the Big Sky Conference with a 8-6 record. Weber State is picked to finish second in the Big Sky this season by the league coaches and media. Weber State is 2-3 on the road this season.
Senior guard Jermaine Boyette (6-2, 190) leads the team in scoring (20.8 ppg) while shooting 57.3 percent from the field, 32.3 percent from three-point range and 80.2 percent at the line. Boyette also has a team-best 23 steals. Junior forward John Hamilton (6-3, 185) is second in scoring (13.8 ppg),hitting 36.8 percent from long-range (32-of-87). Senior gaurd Brad Barton (6-3, 215) leads WSU in assists (4.5 apg) and Senior post player Pat Danley (6-8, 235) is first in rebounds (5.5 rpg).
Head Coach Joe Cravens
Joe Cravens is in his fourth season as Weber State's head coach with a 60-39 record. He has a 115-91 career mark in his eighth season. Cravens was an assistant to Rick Majerus at Utah for three seasons. During the 1989-90 season, Cravens filled in as acting head coach when Majerus had heart surgery and posted a 12-12 record. Cravens departed Utah after the 1991-92 season to become the head coach at Idaho, where he went 43-40 in four years. Also on the Utah staff with Majerus and Cravens was graduate assistant Kirk Earlywine, who is now a full-time assistant to Cravens at Weber State.
Utah-Weber State Series Notes
* Utah and Weber State meet for the 31st time on Friday. Utah leads the all-time series 18-12 and has won six of the last eight meetings. Weber State had won two in a row before the Utes captured a 70-59 win last season on Dec. 15 in Ogden, Utah. The teams have met every year since 1993.
* Utah has a 12-3 edge in games played in Salt Lake City. In the last game played in the Huntsman Center, Weber State snapped a nine-game losing streak on the Utes' home court with a 79-77 win on Dec. 9, 2000. The loss snapped Utah's best-in-the-nation homecourt winning streak at 54 games. Weber State had not won in Salt Lake City since 1978.
* Rick Majerus has a 7-3 record against Weber State with all 10 games coming during his 14-year tenure at Utah.
* Utah is 111-47 (.703) all-time against the Big Sky Conference, including a 73-14 record at home (.839). Rick Majerus is 11-3 (.786) all-time against the Big Sky Conference, including a 10-3 record at Utah (.769).
Britton Johnsen scored 21 points and Nick Jacobson had eight of his 11 in the last six minutes as Utah beat Weber State 70-59 on Dec. 15 last season in Ogden, Utah. The victory by the Utes snapped a two-game losing streak to the Wildcats.
Chris Woods led the Wildcats with 19 points while John Hamilton added 14. Jermaine Boyette, who scored 27 points in the 2000 victory over the Utes, was held to 10. Jeff Johnsen added 12 for Utah.
Weber State pulled with 55-54 on Boyette's basket with 7:16 to play but the Wildcats didn't get another field goal until Brad Barton hit a three-pointer with 1:34 remaining. In between, Jacobson scored three straight baskets for the Utes, the last coming after he shook off his defender with a spin move and swished a 15-footer from the left side. That gave Utah a 62-54 lead with 2:28 to go.
Jacobson came in on a roll, shooting almost 60 percent in his three previous games, including 72 percent from three-point range. But he went scoreless in the first half and didn't get going until well into the second half.
It looked like it would be an easy night for the Utes when they built an 18-4 lead seven minutes after tipoff. But the Wildcats charged back, closing the first half with a 14-7 run to lead 34-33 at the break.
The Old Oquirrh Bucket
Friday's game continues Utah's bid to win the Old Oquirrh Bucket trophy for 2002-03. The Old Oquirrh Bucket (named after the Oquirrh Mountains to the west of Salt Lake City) is the symbol of in-state basketball supremacy in Utah. The trophy is awarded every year to the in-state college team (Utah, BYU, Southern Utah, Utah State and Weber State) which has the best win-loss record against in-state competition.
Utah has won the Old Oquirrh Bucket 11 times since its inception in 1974-75, including six years in a row from 1994-95 to 1999-00.
So far this season in the in-state battles, BYU is 2-0, Utah State is 2-1, Utah is 1-1, Weber State is 0-1 and Southern Utah is 0-2.
Game #11 Rewind
Nick Jacobson scored 13 points, including two free throws with 24.2 seconds left, as Utah defeated No. 1 Alabama 51-49 Monday night at the Huntsman Center. Tim Frost added nine points and Britton Johnsen scored eight, all in the second half, as the Utes (8-3) got the 1,500th win in school history while handing the Crimson Tide (9-1) their first loss.
Maurice Williams led the Tide with 15 points. Earnest Shelton scored 14 and Dudley finished with nine points for Alabama, which couldn't overcome a slow start when the Tide missed nine of their first 10 shots. Alabama became No. 1 in the AP poll for the first time in its history two weeks ago when Arizona lost to LSU. The Crimson Tide was No. 1 for a second straight week in Monday's new poll.
The Tide shot just 41 percent and were held to 25 points below their season average. Alabama had the lead only once, and it didn't last long. After Emmett Thomas put the Tide up 22-21 with a three-pointer in the first minute of the second half, Jacobson gave the Utes the lead again with a three-pointer. It ended up being the final lead change.
Alabama stayed within eight points and had several chances to tie it at the end. Shelton was fouled with the Tide down 48-46 and 33.7 seconds to go. He made one of two from the line, then Alabama, which didn't commit a foul in the first 15 minutes of the second half, fouled five straight times to send the Utes to the line.
Jacobson went 2-for-2, then Dudley cut the lead back to a point on a layup with about 12 seconds to go. The Tide sent Tim Drisdom to the line next, and he made just one of two to give Alabama one more chance. But Williams missed a jumper that would have tied it. The rebound went to Erwin Dudley, who also missed. Richard Chaney got the final rebound as time expired.
Both teams had been off for a week and played to a 19-19 tie at halftime. Alabama had just one field goal in the first 11:46. Utah was just 8-for-26 in the first half, missing all 11 shots from three-point range, while Alabama was 7-for-15. Both teams had eight turnovers in the half.
Notable Numbers From Game #11
* The Crimson Tide, ranked No.1 by the Associated Press, rolled in Monday night as the highest-ranked team to ever play the Utes in the Huntsman Center. The previous highest-ranked team to face the Utes in the JMHC was No. 2 Wake Forrest on Dec. 31, 1996. In a game featuring the Demon Deacons' Tim Duncan and the Utes' Keith Van Horn, who would later go first and second, respectively, in the 1997 NBA Draft, Wake Forrest prevailed 70-59.
* The Utes had unseated a top-ranked team once before under Rick Majerus, defeating North Carolina 65-59 on March 28, 1998 in the national semifinals at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
* Utah's most recent win over a ranked team before defeating Alabama was a 79-73 defeat of No. 14 Texas on Dec. 22, 1999.
* Utah is 1-1 against ranked teams this season, falling to No. 20 Gonzaga 71-52 on Nov. 25 in the first round of the Maui Invitational.
* Alabama is the highest ranked opponent a Mountain West Conference team has beaten. Wyoming's win over No. 6 Gonzaga in the 2002 NCAA Tournament was the league's previous best win.
Inside the Numbers
* In five of the eight wins, Utah has held its opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field. The Utes have outshot their opponents 46.8 to 37.3 percent in its wins. No team has shot 50 percent from the field on Utah this season.
* The Utes have had the advantage at the free throw line in their eight wins, making 142 trips to the line compared to 116 for the opponents and shooting 71.1 to 62.1 percent. In the three losses, the opposite has been the case with the opponents outshooting Utah at the free throw line 122 attempts to 42, and making 82 (67.2 percent) to 20 (47.6 percent).
* The Utes have outrebounded their opponents in seven of the eight wins. The exception was a 32-30 deficit in the win over Alabama. In its wins, the Utes have outrebounded the opponents by an average of 35.9 to 31.0. Utah had a season-best 48-32 advantage (+16) on the glass in its win over Pepperdine on Dec. 20. In two of the three losses, Utah has been on the negative side of that stat. Its rebound deficit in losses is 34.0 to 30.3.
* Utah tied a season-low mark with just nine turnovers in the win over Alabama, including just one in the second half. The Utes also had nine turnovers in the win over Northern Iowa.
* Utah held Pepperdine to just 13.6 percent from three-point range, its best defensive effort from long range this season.
* Winthrop shot 27.3 percent (15-for-55) from the field, which was the sixth-worst mark by a Ute opponent all-time. It was the Utes' best defensive effort since Concordia shot 20.3 percent, the lowest mark by a Ute opponent all-time, on Dec. 26, 2000.
* Winthrop's 42 points were the lowest allowed by the Utes in 22 games since Saint Mary's (Calif.) scored 35 points on Jan. 7, 2002.
From Beyond The Arc
Utah is shooting 35.8 percent from three-point range, and has hit at least 40 percent of its long-range tries five times and 50 percent twice. The Utes' percentage dropped nearly three points after hitting just 3-of-21 treys against Alabama.
* Utah put up 32 three-point attempts against Northern Iowa, which is the second-most in a single game in school history. It was the most three-point attempts by the Utes since firing 34 against San Diego State on Jan. 16, 1999. The Utes made 12 of those 32 attempts (37.5 percent).
* Utah shot a season-best 57.1 percent (8-of-14) from three-point range against Winthrop. It was the Utes' best effort since hitting 66.7 percent (12-of-18) last season at New Mexico on Jan. 21. The Utes hit 5-of-10 three-pointers (50.0 percent) against Massachusetts on Nov. 26 in the Maui Invitational.
* A year ago, the Utes ranked eighth in the nation and first in the Mountain West in three-point percentage (40.5), and shot 50 percent or better from three-point range in four games.