(15) Utah 57

(20-3, 8-0 MW)


(9-11, 2-6 MW)

    10:30 PM ET, February 7, 2005

    Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada

    1 2 T
    #15UTAH 27 3057
    UNLV 25 2853

    Top Performers

    Utah: B. Markson 19 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast

    UNLV: O. Blankson 18 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Blk

    Utes win despite off night by Bogut

    LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Andrew Bogut was struggling, so Utah found another way to win.

    Bryant Markson scored 19 points and the 15th-ranked Utes overcame an off night by Bogut to beat UNLV 57-53 on Monday and extend their winning streak to 15 games.

    Bogut, the 7-foot center who is a likely NBA lottery pick, was frustrated by UNLV's interior defense. But Markson scored 12 points in the second half to help Utah escape with a win.

    "This was a wake-up call," Bogut said. "Everybody will be trying to get us now that we're a ranked team."

    UNLV tried its best to do just that, pulling within a point with less than a minute left. But Utah made crucial free throws in the final seconds to remain unbeaten in the Mountain West Conference and justify its highest ranking of the season.

    Bogut couldn't find his shot in the first half and didn't pull down a rebound. But he still managed to finish with 14 points, six below his average. The sophomore from Australia was limited to four rebounds against an undersized UNLV team.

    Markson scored seven points in a row in the second half to give Utah its biggest lead, 45-34, with 12:20 left. But the Utes made only two field goals in the last 11 minutes and UNLV rallied in front of a raucous home crowd.

    "I just think this is the next step for us, to see how we perform with some adversity," Utah coach Ray Giacoletti said. "We found out what our true colors were. Anytime in college basketball when you get a win on the road you can't forget how precious that is no matter who, what or where."

    The Utes (20-3, 8-0) only led by one with under a minute to play but closed the game by connecting on four of six foul shots.

    The Rebels (9-11, 2-6) mounted a spirited comeback late in the second half, going on an 11-2 run that was capped by Louis Amundson's dunk to cut the deficit to 52-48 with 4:07 to play.

    Michael Umeh then converted a three-point play off a turnover with 2:15 remaining to trim the margin to one, but Utah hung on from there.

    "We are not satisfied with the feeling of losing, but we enjoyed the atmosphere of a true college basketball game," UNLV coach Lon Kruger said. "It was kind of exciting."

    The Utes used a run of their own to open a double-digit lead in the first eight minutes of the second half. The offensive outburst was highlighted by nine points from Markson, including a 3-pointer to give them a 45-34 lead.

    Odartey Blankson led UNLV with 18 points, and Amundson had 12.

    UNLV found itself in a hole after going scoreless for almost four minutes late in the first half. UNLV had trouble going inside against the taller Utes.

    But Utah couldn't take advantage of UNLV's poor shooting. Bogut scored only eight points.

    Blankson had 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting in the first half. Jerel Blassingame added a trio of 3-pointers to help the Rebels stay with the Utes.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 57 53
    FG Made-Attempted 22-46 (.478) 24-54 (.444)
    3P Made-Attempted 4-13 (.308) 3-8 (.375)
    FT Made-Attempted 9-15 (.600) 2-3 (.667)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 6 (0/0) 16 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 11 3

    2004-05 Season

    Jan 11, 2005 @UTAH 70, UNLV 52Recap
    » Feb 7, 2005 UTAH 57, @UNLV 53Recap
    Mar 11, 2005 @UTAH 73, UNLV 67Recap