In a game where a couple of good-shooting teams shot horribly from 3-point range, this game came down to a couple of wide-open 3-pointers. The Cougars made theirs and the Utes didn't, and the result was a hard-fought BYU victory. The game was tied at 50 with less than three minutes left when Utah's Tyler Kepkay missed a wide-open 3-pointer from the left corner. At the other end BYU's Sam Burgess sank his open 3-pointer to put the Cougars up by three. After pulling within 53-52, the Utes had two more chances to go ahead, but Luka Drca missed the front end of a one-and-one and Kepkay missed on a drive to the basket. Lee Cummard led BYU with 19 points and 9 rebounds.
Neither team was having a great season when the two rivals met in this early February game, tied for fifth place at 3-4 in WAC play. But the two teams produced a run-and-gun shootout that wasn't decided until the final minute. The Cougars led 86-84, but couldn't score over the final two-and-a-half minutes of the game. Mitch Smith and Jimmy Madison both scored to put the Utes ahead for good. Then after Smith stripped the ball from freshman John Fish, Jon Hansen added another basket for Utah. Ute freshman Josh Grant scored a career-high 24 points and added nine rebounds, eight assists and four blocks. BYU was led by Michael Smith with 21 points, but he only made 7 of 20 shots from the field.
Despite the presence of the fifth-largest crowd in Huntsman Center history (15,429) and some 5,000 Rick Majerus masks, BYU knocked off the Utes and grabbed a share of the WAC title in the process. The Cougars had lost four starters from the previous year, including Shawn Bradley, but a cast that included Gary Trost (27 points), Nathan Call (17 points) and Russell Larson (17 points) took it to the Utes. They broke away from a 44-43 halftime lead, with a 13-2 run making the difference.
Utah's freshmen-dominated team, led by Ticky Burden, Mike Sojourner, Chas Menatti and Doug Terry, which had won just seven games, finished off the season in style with a convincing victory over the Kresimir Cosic-led Cougars, who had come into the game with a 19-6 record. With the victory, the Utes avoided losing 20 games for the first time ever, while the loss kept the Cougars from winning 20 games.
In the only overtime Utah-BYU game at the Huntsman Center, Luke Nevill scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Luca Drca had a near triple-double with 18 points, nine assists and seven rebounds to lead the Utes' exciting victory. The game was tied at 71 at the end of regulation as BYU's Jimmer Fredette and Jonathan Tavernari each missed shots in the final minute, as did Drca. Tyler Kepkay scored 10 of his 19 points, in the overtime, while Lee Cummard led BYU with 23 points and seven rebounds.
OK, this certainly wasn't one of the more closely-contested Utah-BYU games. But it featured perhaps the best individual performance and launched Jimmermania to the nation.
By now, you've seen that halfcourt shot by Jimmer Fredette about a million times. That shot gave Fredette 32 first-half points and staked BYU to a 53-42 halftime lead. Fredette finished with 47 points on 16-of-28 from the field, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range, 9-of-9 from the foul line, and a team-high six assists. Utah got 23 points from Will Clyburn and 19 from Josh Watkins.
BYU came into the game with a 23-2 record, ranked No. 11 in the nation, while the Utes were just 16-9. The Utes trailed most of the game, but came back to win thanks to a pair of 3-pointers by Keith Chapman, an unheralded sophomore from Murray High, who hit a couple of 3-pointers in the final 90 seconds, including one in the final seconds to give the Utes the upset victory. Mitch Smith led the Utes with 25 points.
This was one of the most highly anticipated Utah-BYU games ever as the two teams came into the game with national rankings and playing for first place in the WAC at 14-1. Utah was ranked No. 11 at 21-3, while BYU was No. 23 at 22-5. The game was close for the first 30 minutes, but the Utes opened up a 12-point lead and never trailed. Phil Dixon led the Utes with a career-high 28 points, while Josh Grant had 18 points and grabbed 22 rebounds and Jimmy Soto added 18 points. Gary Trost led BYU with 26 points.
Just a few days earlier, Rick Majerus had resigned as Ute coach following a successful 15-year run. The Utes came out looking lost under interim coach Kerry Rupp and trailed 34-19 at halftime and by 17 early in the second half. However, freshman center Andrew Bogut knocked down an improbable 3-pointer from the top of the key that spurred a Ute rally. Over the next 11 minutes, the Utes outscored the Cougars 28-10, going ahead on a Nick Jacobsen 3-pointer with 11:30 left. Tim Drisdom added the final dagger with a 3-pointer with 1:59 left to push the lead to eight. Bogut finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds. BYU's Mark Bigelow led all scorers with 22 points, but Rafael Araujo only managed seven points on 3-of-15 shooting.
Robbie Reid was never supposed to shoot the shot that beat Utah in front of the second-largest crowd in Huntsman Center history. But the freshman launched an uncontested 24-foot 3-pointer with his team down two points and 16 seconds left to give BYU the victory. Reid's shot may be the most memorable in the 43 Utah-BYU games at the Huntsman Center, along with Fredette's half-courter.
Utah still had time to re-take the lead and apparently did when Mark Rydalch drove the lane and hit a short jumper with six seconds left. However, he also crashed into BYU's Russell Larson and was whistled with an offensive foul that U. coach Rick Majerus said should have been a no-call. Larson added a free throw for the final score and Utah's Terry Preston missed a desperation shot at the buzzer.
Reid scored 13 points on 4-of-6 3-pointers, while Utah freshman Keith Van Horn led all scorers with 21 points.