Jan. 8, 2001
By TIM KORTE
AP Sports Writer
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Phil Cullen scored 17 points and freshman NickJacobson had 14 as Utah beat Wyoming 83-71 Monday night in the Mountain Westopener for both schools.
Chris Burgess added 11 points as the spirited Utes (9-6), playing anothergame without sidelined coach Rick Majerus, outlasted the Cowboys (9-4) in ashowdown of teams expected to contend in the Mountain West.
Josh Davis led the Cowboys with 18 points while Marcus Bailey had 11, butUtah held Wyoming's imposing Nigerian frontcourt in check. Uche Nsonwu-Amadiscored eight points and his cousin, Ugo Udezue, went scoreless.
Britton Johnsen had 10 for the Utes.
The Utes held a 36-32 lead after an emotional and physical first half butdid a better job of setting the tempo in the second half. Utah went ahead 59-49with 10:40 on the clock after two free throws by Jackson.
It was 66-56 after Nick Jacobsen was fouled while attempting a 3-pointer andmade three free throws with 7:53 to play.
The Cowboys refused to quit, pulling within 74-66 after consecutive basketsby Marcus Bailey, the second with 4:24 to play. But Utah put it away by scoringthe next six points.
Cullen scored inside and Burgess brought fans to their feet by slamming homean alley-oop from Travis Spivey. When Burgress scored on a 3-foot flip on thenext Utah possession, the Utes led 80-66 with 3:05 to play.
Majerus has been out since mid-November, when he left the team torehabilitate a surgically repaired knee. He had planned to rejoin the Utes lastweek but he was hospitalized on New Year's Day after complaining of chestpains.
Last Tuesday, Majerus underwent a procedure to clear two blocked arteries.