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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A five-point lead and 2 minutes, 55 seconds were enough for Utah to remain unbeaten. A few seconds more, and it may have been different. The Utes avenged a 26-point loss to Utah State last season by holding off the Aggies 67-66 Wednesday, winning a shot just before the buzzer bounced off the rim. "The great thing is that you can have a teaching moment with a win rather than figure it out with a loss," Utah coach Ray Giacoletti said. The Utes (4-0) won despite not scoring after Johnnie Bryant's layup with 2:55 remaining and some bad shots that gave the Aggies (2-2) a great chance to win it at the end. With 17 seconds remaining, Bryant put up a 3-pointer even though the Utes still had a few more seconds to get a better look before the shot clock expired. The shot missed and the Aggies rushed it up the floor and had plenty of time to set up Jaycee Carroll, who led Utah State with 18 points. But Carroll's 14-foot jump shot was off and bounced high off the back of the rim. By the time the ball bounced back around to Carroll for another attempt, time had expired. "I saw it hit the rim, the buzzer went off and we won," said Bryant Markson, who led the Utes with 17 points and six rebounds. Bryant finished with 14 points and Luke Nevill and Chris Jackson scored 10 each for Utah. Nate Harris scored 10 for the Aggies (2-2), who blew out the Utes 71-45 last year in Logan. Utah State coach Stew Morrill said the Aggies didn't need to call time out and got the shot they wanted. "We ran Jaycee off a couple of screens," Morrill said. "They switched off pretty good, but he still got a pretty good look. I thought it was going down." Utah finished with a 27-19 rebounding advantage and shot 15-for-25 in the second half, when the Utes rallied after briefly falling behind. Utah State led 59-57 after Carroll got a layup over the arm of the 7-foot-1 Nevill. But Lawrence Borha regained the lead for the Utes on a 3-pointer with about 6:30 remaining to start an 8-0 run. Markson added a 3-pointer about a minute later and revived the home fans, who for the first time all game were louder than the visitors. Borha completed the 8-0 run for Utah when he dribbled behind his back and drove the lane for a layup with 3:56 remaining. Cass Matheus got the Aggies within 67-64, then Carroll cut the margin to one point but the Aggies couldn't take advantage of some rushed shots by the Utes down the stretch. "I had a good look. The next time I'll knock it down," Carroll said. Utah State also had a chance at the end of the first half but squandered it. Markson made a steal and took it in for a dunk, cocking the ball behind his head and slamming it down with both hands to put Utah up 31-26 with 2:25 left in the first half. Utah State came back with Chris Sessions dunking in an offensive rebound and was playing for the last shot, but couldn't get one off and the ball rolled out of bounds as time expired. Five of the Aggies' 10 field goals in the first half were 3-pointers. Borha finished with eight points, all in the second half. "Johnnie had a big game and LB (Borha) had a big game. It was good to see those guys just get off like they did," Markson said.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-11-30-05 2205MST