Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah quickly got over any letdown in its first game since having its 18-game winning streak halted.
The No. 13 Utes shot nearly 69 percent in the second half and swept state rival Brigham Young for the season Saturday, winning 69-60 and then celebrating their Mountain West regular-season championship by cutting down the nets.
The Utes (24-4, 12-1 MWC) were playing their first home game since clinching the conference regular-season title last weekend. And there is nobody Utah fans and players love to celebrate in front of more than their private school rival about 50 miles to the south.
"Not just a rivalry game, but we tried to win another game," said Andrew Bogut, who had 26 points and 13 rebounds in his 19th double-double of the season. "We wanted to come back and prove we're worthy of being ranked."
But doing it against the Cougars made it all the more special. Bogut didn't get a kick to the back like he did last month during the Utes' win in Provo, but there was plenty of contact and talking -- again.
And in the end, Utah was on its home floor celebrating. The Utes received the MWC trophy and then climbed the ladder to get a piece of the net.
The Utes scored just seven points in the first 6 minutes, 24 seconds, but were unstoppable in the second half -- shooting 15-for-19 from the floor.
Marc Jackson finished with a career-high 11 assists and Justin Hawkins added 21 points, also a career best.
Austin Ainge led the Cougars (9-19, 3-10) with 17 points and Mike Hall scored 12 in another close loss.
"We need to win a few of these before we call it a turnaround game," Ainge said.
BYU also had just 13 assists, only two fewer than Jackson's total, and committed 28 fouls to Utah's 14.
"We tried to guard Bogut, but he shot a lot of free throws in the first half and I'm sure he had big numbers," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "Our aggression level was good and we competed, but we just weren't good enough."
Richard Chaney added 10 points for the Utes, who close the regular season next week against San Diego State.
Utah's 18-game winning streak ended Monday with a loss at New Mexico. That loss also ended the Utes' chances of becoming the first team to go unbeaten in the MWC. Utah was sluggish early, but Bogut, Jackson and Hawkins led the second-half charge that put away the Cougars.
"We kind of panicked and got impatient offensively and that compounds the issue. I probably didn't help a whole lot. I was probably wound a little tight today too," said Utah coach Ray Giacoletti, who was wearing his red sports jacket he had on in his first meeting with the Cougars.
Everybody seemed a little edgy. Bogut and Ainge were both called for technicals after a confrontation late in the first half when Ainge and Jackson got tangled up and Bogut stepped in.
Ainge had already received the loudest boos when he was introduced. He is the son of former Cougars player and current Boston Celtic executive Danny Ainge, who is still disliked by Utah fans more than 20 years after his college career.
The boos were even louder for the younger Ainge after the clash with Bogut. Ainge was finally cheered by the Ute fans when he fouled out with 1:27 remaining.
"It got a little bit seedy, but that's just how these teams are and that's how it's got to be," Bogut said.
After a 29-all tie at halftime, Utah came out and took control with a 7-2 run to start the second half. Ainge got BYU to 36-35 with back-to-back layups, but Bogut answered with a layup and, after a steal Jackson, made a nice no-look pass to Hawkins, who took it in for a dunk.
BYU called time out and came back with a 3-pointer by Hall to cut Utah's lead to 40-38, then Hawkins' first 3-pointer of the year sparked a 10-point run for the Utes. Bogut was wide open and made a 3-pointer. He was pumping his right arm after hitting the long shot, then had to turn around right away after another steal by Utah.
The Utes got the ball to Bogut again and he hit a layup to put the Utes up 50-38 and drew a foul. Bogut missed on the three-point play opportunity, but the Utes were in control and didn't let the Cougars get closer than five the rest of the game.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)