Utes outrun Trojans, 87-56

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 9, 2001

Sports Editor

Tied 23-23 in the first half with Utah, a four minute scoring drought doomed the Trojans to an eventual 87-56 loss in Salt Lake City on Saturday night.

With 8:39 left in the first period of play, the Runnin’ Utes lived up to their nickname, taking off on a 19-4 run to go into the locker room

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with a 42-27 lead.

The Trojans had led by as much as seven points in the first half thanks to senior forward Lemayn Wilson opening the game with three straight three pointers. Ben Fletcher and Robert Rushing also hit a pair of shots from behind the arc and Lacedrick Pettway’s three-pointer gave Troy State an early 18-11 edge over homestanding Utah.

However, Utah had an answer in senior center Chris Burgess and guard Nick Jacobson.

Burgess scored back-to-back baskets and Jacobson had a three-pointer and two field goals in the final eight minutes as the Utes built a 15 point lead at the half.

The Trojans got just two baskets in the same time span – both by center Lovell Craig, who finished with 10 points.

Wilson, who started out the game by hitting his first three shots, finished with only 13 points.

"Lemayn started out like he was going to have a big night, but then he missed like four or five in a row," said TSU head coach Don Maestri. "When you don’t get any points on the offensive end of the court, that takes away from your defense. You just have to make sure you’re smart enough when the game starts to slip away to slow the ball game down. We didn’t do that tonight."

Maestri was also disappointed in the way the Trojans attacked the basket. Troy State was outrebounded by Utah, 38-23, but the Trojans only shot 37 percent for the game so a majority of the Utes’ boards were defensive.

"When you can’t hit any shots you’re going to get outrebounded defensively. But, still, we weren’t too aggressive to the basket," said Maestri.

Burgess scored 22 points in the game, a career high, and Jacobson added 17 for the Utes (3-3).

Rushing had eight points also for the Trojans (3-3, while Ben Fletcher scored 11.

TSU returns home next Saturday to face Nicholls State in Trojan Arena.