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Utes defeat Wyoming in defensive battle

Utah finally exorcized their demons and won a close game. After dropping 8 contests by 4 or less points this season -- including 3 OT games -- Utah picked up a much needed close victory, defeating Wyoming 62-60.

Luke Nevill scored off a hook shot with 57 seconds left and got a much needed block as the Utes held onto the win, their second of the conference season. Utah is now 7-12 and 2-4 in conference play. Wyoming drops to 11-8 and 2-4 in the Mountain West.

Utah won in unlikely fashion, as their defense played fairly well. Wyoming shot poorly from the field and even worse from three point range. A flow which had alluded Utah the entire season, as they often gave up great shooting nights to the opposing team. Though while Utah contained Wyoming's offense, holding them 16 points below their average, their scoring and shooting was just as poor. This turned into an ugly contest, marred by fouls and inconsistent shooting. But a win is a win and at this point, I'm guessing Utah will take it.

I do have one beef though and that was Utah's trouble with layups. It seemed they missed an abnormal amount of easy shots today, which made this game much closer than it really should have been. But in the end, I guess it doesn't really matter because I do believe that can be corrected.

Thankfully for Utah Luke Nevill had another solid game. While he had been in a slump the past month or so, he's reemerging as Utah's best player and exactly at the right moment. He was the Utes leading scorer with 14 points on 5-12 shooting and he also led the Utes 8 rebounds.

Utah did a good job at shutting down the Cowboys best player as Brandon Ewing only had 9 points on 3-9 shooting and fouled out late in the second half. The Cowboys were led by Brad Jones, who had 15 points on the day. Jones finished the night 2-2 from three point range, while Ewing was 2-6.

This was a big win for Utah because it gives them momentum heading into the final stretch run. While it looks as if any post season appearance for Utah is not likely, a strong finish would definitely aid them heading into next season.

The Utes get a week off before traveling to play the slumping San Diego State Aztecs. San Diego State lost to Air Force today and fell to 2-3 in the Mountain West. This is a surprise, since the Aztecs were favored to win the Mountain West after nearly running away with it last season. That game can be seen on CSTV.