Utes FINALLY get one from the Ags

University of Utah's first win vs USU since the late 1990's. U of U had never betten USU in basketball in the 2000's until late Wednesday night. In an ugly game with the Utes, the Aggies were down by as much as 21 points throughout the game.

?The Utes hadn't beaten their in-state rivals since 1999 and were coming off a 32-point thrashing less than a week ago, which left many folks wondering if the Utes had any chance to defeat the unbeaten Aggies Wednesday night at the Huntsman Center. Not to worry. After the Utes' 56-45 not-as-close-as-it-sounds victory, suddenly all is well in Uteville. Freshman Andrew Bogut scored 12 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, while Nick Jacobson scored 12 and Richard Chaney added 10 as the Utes built up a 24-point second-half lead before coasting home. The decisive victory erased some of the bad memories from last week, when the Utes were beaten handily by a pair of top-25 teams at Madison Square Garden. "To be honest, we were all down, more down than I've seen in a few years," Jacobson said. "We really got destroyed and felt bad about ourselves. But as each day went by we got a little bit better and tougher and more focused." Ute coach Rick Majerus acknowledged that Connecticut was the best team in the country but that his team still got its butt kicked and didn't give its best effort. "I thought our defense was good and the guys did a good job in preparing for this game," he said. Jacobson went so far as to say that the Utes didn't care so much if they won the game as long as their effort was improved. "Our goal wasn't even to win," he said. "All we cared about was getting the effort we needed, because once we got that effort, the win would take care of itself." The Utes showed the effort right from the start as Bogut fed Tim Frost for a quick bucket to open the game. By the midpoint of the first half it was already 17-6 for the Utes. Everything seemed to go well for Utah in the first half. Once, with the shot clock running down, Chaney threw up an off-balance shot from the right angle that banked off the glass and in for a 3-pointer that put Utah up 26-8. By halftime, the Utes led 35-16, the largest halftime deficit for an Aggie team since 1999 when the Utes were ahead 41-21 on their way to a 77-42 victory. The Utes shot 61.9 percent in the first half compared to 29.2 percent for the Ags. The second-half Ute lead got as high as 24 at 45-21 with 14:01 left and was 48-25 with 9:55 before the Ags put together a late rally. Former Ute signee Chris Huber, who scored six points, hit a 3-pointer and a layup and Spencer Nelson scored inside to cut the lead to 54-41 with three minutes left. Utah scored just two points in the final 5:40 and just 11 points in the final 14 minutes, but it was more than enough to hold off the Aggies.

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