Utah Hands Air Force First Conference Loss

Andrew Bogut scored 25 points on 11-of-12 shooting to lift No. 25 Utah to a 63-51 victory Monday night over Air Force.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -Utah (17-3, 5-0 Mountain West Conference) entered the Top 25 on Monday for the first time since being ranked for two weeks in 2002-03. The Utes, playing under first-year coach Ray Giacoletti, have won 12 straight since losing at Arizona on Dec. 11. The other losses were to Washington and Utah State, both on the road.

Bryant Markson and Mark Jackson each scored 11 points, and Jackson tied a career-high with 10 assists for the Utes, who shot a school-record 80 percent from the field (24-of-30) against the nation's No. 1 defense. Utah's previous best shooting game was 73.7 percent against Air Force in 1987.

The Utes took apart Air Force with quick passes and lobs to Bogut, a 7-foot sophomore from Australia. Bogut, who leads the nation in rebounding and double-doubles, also had nine rebounds.

Nick Welch had 15 points to lead the Falcons (12-7, 3-1), who lost for just the second time in eight games. Welch also had five assists. Tim Keller added nine points and Antoine Hood and Matt McCraw each scored eight.

Bogut scored seven points in a 14-2 run at the start of the second half that gave Utah a 46-32 lead after Air Force closed within 12 points. The Falcons, outrebounded 23-13, couldn't get within single digits the rest of the way.

The Falcons (12-7, 3-1), who start only one player taller than 6-foot-6, double- and triple-teamed Bogut at every opportunity, but still couldn't stop him.
 


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