BYU 56

(12-7, 2-4 MW)

Utah 64

(16-5, 4-2 MW)

    3:00 PM ET, January 31, 2004

    Jon M. Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City, Utah

    1 2 T
    BYU 34 2256
    UTAH 19 4564

    Utah 64, BYU 56

    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 Majerus.

    "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 the Cougars.

    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 up."

    Bogut, a 6-foot-10 Australian, and center Tim Frost also helped the Utes contain BYU leading scorer and rebounder Rafael Araujo, who had eight points and nine rebounds.

    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 rebounds.

    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 overcome adversity."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2003-04 Season

    » Jan 31, 2004 @UTAH 64, BYU 56Recap
    Mar 2, 2004 @BYU 70, UTAH 57Recap
    Mar 12, 2004 UTAH 54, @BYU 51Recap