Lobos Shut Down Utah, 70-54
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  01/24/2004
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Jan 24, 2004

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Center Danny Granger scored 28 points and made an impressive debut at point guard Saturday in leading New Mexico to a 70-54 win over Utah.

Granger baffled the Utes with his quickness and smooth jumpshot, hitting 10 of 16 shots and adding a team-high four assists, as the Lobos (10-6, 1-2 MWC) snapped Utah's nine-game winning streak.

Nick Jacobson with 20 points and Andrew Bogut with 13 points and 17 rebounds led Utah (15-4, 3-1 MWC).

New Mexico coach Ritchie McKay threw a changeup at the Utes' defensive plans by frequently using Granger at the point to start the Lobos' half-court offense.

Granger responded by hitting a pair of 15-foot jumpshots and a 3-pointer in the game's first five minutes.

Granger, who had six rebounds and no turnovers in 35 minutes on the court, was equally tough inside, scoring consistently over the taller Utes. And when the Utes tried to double-team Granger, he passed off to open teammates.

The Lobos played a nearly flawless first half. They hit seven 3s, shot 54 percent and had just one turnover en route to a 38-18 lead.

Granger sparked a 9-0 run early in the second half with a left-handed bankshot and an off-balance layup that put the Lobos ahead 49-20 with 14:51 left in the game. At that point, Granger had outscored the Utes 23-22.

Jacobson, who scored 15 of his points in the second half, led the Utes' only rally of the game, a 13-2 run that cut the Lobos' lead to 53-41 with 6:31 left.

A 3-pointer by Troy DeVries and three free throws by Granger sandwiched around a 3-pointer by Jacobson pushed the lead to 59-45.

New Mexico finished with eight 3s against the second best defensive team in the country. The Utes came into the game giving up an average of 54 points a game.

DeVries added 14 points and David Chiotti scored 13 for the Lobos.