SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Rallying from 17-points down to beat state
rival Brigham Young would typically be huge for Utah.
On Saturday, it was even more meaningful as the Utes rallied to
a 64-56 win over BYU in their first game without ailing coach Rick
"We love Coach. I'm sure he's really proud of us," senior Nick
Jacobson said, pausing a few times to collect himself. "It's very
emotional for me."
Majerus left the team indefinitely to deal with his health after
suffering chest pains Tuesday night and has spent the week under
his cardiologist's care in Santa Barbara, Calif.
The Utes were frazzled early in the BYU game after a tumultuous
week of wondering how Majerus was doing while trying to prepare for
But in the second half, the Utes put on a dominant performance
that would have had even the temperamental Majerus beaming.
"We challenged them to come out with the same heart, same
intensity and focus as Coach came with every single day," said
assistant Kerry Rupp, who has taken over for Majerus. "I thought
the kids did a great job of responding."
Rupp also coached the Utes in a 79-75 victory at BYU a year ago
when Majerus left the team to attend a funeral. The Utes knew
Majerus would be back from that absence, but now his return is
uncertain because of his health.
Jacobson, one of just two Utah seniors and the only Ute to play
his entire career for Majerus, dribbled out the clock and heaved
the ball toward BYU's basket after the buzzer in celebration of the
10th straight home win for Utah (16-5, 4-2 Mountain West) over the
rival Cougars (12-7, 2-4).
He and freshman Andrew Bogut led the Utes with 21 points each.
Bogut scored 17 in the second half and finished with 12 rebounds in
his first game of the BYU-Utah rivalry.
"He was a beast. He was the Bogut that everybody's been talking
about, and I think we're going to continue to get that from him,"
said Tim Drisdom, who scored 14 for Utah. "He's definitely growing
Mark Bigelow led the Cougars with 22 points. Garner Meads added
10 points for BYU, which has not won at Utah since a 64-62 victory
Jan. 8, 1994. The Cougars were heading toward snapping the 10-year
skid with a 34-19 halftime lead, but Utah started hitting shots and
outhustling the Cougars on the boards in a thrilling comeback.
"I don't think they hit a first shot in the first 10 minutes of
the game. But they hit every second shot they had," Bigelow said.
The Cougars have lost three straight.
After falling behind 36-19 early in the second half on a layup
by Mark Hall, the Utes used an 8-0 run to get back into it and
revive the home crowd. Bogut hit a 3-pointer, Chaney tipped in a
rebound and Drisdom converted a three-point play to get Utah back
within single digits.
Bogut took over from there, scoring eight straight for Utah to
get the Utes to 40-34 with 14:31 remaining. He also had 12
Jacobson's 3-pointer after an offensive rebound made it 44-39,
and the Utes kept cutting into the lead.
Bogut went 1-for-2 from the line after drawing Araujo's fourth
foul with 8:59 remaining to trim it to 46-42, then putback an
offensive rebound to make it a two-point game. Meads missed a free
throw for BYU, then Jacobson hit a long 3-pointer with 7:16
remaining to give Utah its first lead at 52-50.
Jacobson added another 3 and Drisdom followed with one from
beyond the arc as the Utes pulled away for good.
"I just felt like it was a tribute to (Majerus) and just the
effort he would have wanted from us in that situation," Drisdom
said. "You realize how much of a family you have after you