Wyoming Tops Utah In MWC Play

Feb 16, 2004

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By ROBERT W. BLACK
Associated Press Writer

LARAMIE, Wyo. - Jay Straight sank four 3-pointers and scored 22 pointsand freshman Mikel Watson scored a career-high 15 points to help Wyoming snap afour-game losing streak - its longest in eight seasons - with a 74-65 win overUtah on Monday.

Watson was 6 of 13 from the floor, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range, andJoe Ries had 13 points for Wyoming (10-13, 3-7 Mountain West).

The loss snapped a four-game victory streak for the Utes (19-6, 7-3) whowere led by Tim Frost's 19 points. Andrew Bogut and Justin Hawkins added 14each for Utah.

It was the first defeat for Utah coach Kerry Rupp after going 4-0 followingthe retirement of Rick Majerus due to health reasons.

Utah's Nick Jacobson, ranked 15th in nation in 3-point shooting at 45.9percent, was held to 2 of 12 from the arc and 3 of 17 from the floor andfinished with eight points, half his average.

Wyoming led 52-40, but Utah closed within 59-57 on a free throw by Hawkinswith 4:13 to go. Watson then tipped in a missed layup by Alex Dunn to put theCowboys up 61-57.

Hawkins scored to cut the margin to two again, but Ries' dunk after a feedfrom Straight put Wyoming up 63-59 with 3:04 left.

The Cowboys, the worst foul-shooting team in the conference at 66 percent,sank 11 of 12 free throws down the stretch to secure the win.

Wyoming took its biggest lead, 52-40, on a 3-pointer by Straight with 9:42left.

The Utes, who trailed 35-30 at halftime, missed four straight shots andturned the ball over three times to start the second half.

Sparked by Watson, Wyoming led by nine points after the first seven minutesbefore Utah tied it at 30-all.