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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT

Game Report

March 20, 1998

FIRST HALF IN REVIEW

UTAH 34

WEST VIRGINIA 28

Jarrod West made a 17-foot jumper for the first basket and West Virginia jumped out to a 6-0 lead before Utah's Michael Doleac made two free throws two minutes into the game. Trace Caton's layup with 13:58 left tied the score, 6-6, and was Utah's first field goal. Neither team looked sharp early. Utah shot 48.0%, but had difficulty getting shots. West Virginia forced three turnovers and blocked two shots in the first five minutes. The Mountaineers also controlled the inside and had a 20-16 rebounding advantage. Drew Hansen's three-pointer gave the Utes their first lead, 18-17, with 8:52 left. They never trailed again. Andre Miller took control: He scored two baskets and had two assists as the Utes took a 29-24 lead. Moments later, Miller scored on back-door play and was fouled. His free throw gave Utah a 34-28 lead.

* UTAH'S LEADING SCORES: Michael Doleac 10, Andre Miller 9.

* UTAH'S LEADING REBOUNDERS: Doleac 7, Britton Johnson 3.

* OTHER STUFF: Doleac had seven rebounds, but none were on the offensive end. Hansen had the Utes only offensive rebound . . . Doleac was perfect from the field, but had only three shots . . . The West Virginia press didn't seem to bother Miller, who had five assists and no turnovers in 16 minutes.

* WEST VIRGINIA'S LEADING SCORERS: Damian Owens 9, Brent Solheim 6.

* WEST VIRGINIA'S LEADING REBOUNDERS: Owens 5, Adrian Pledger 4.

* OTHER STUFF: West was one of five from the field . . . Jarret Kearse's two points was the only scoring off the bench . . . The Mountaineers shot only three free throws.

SECOND HALF IN REVIEW

UTAH 65

WEST VIRGINIA 62

Doleac asserted himself, scoring eight of Utah's first 10 points and Utah went up, 44-36. But Doleac missed a dunk with 15:34 left and the Mountaineers rallied. They shot 54.5% for the half. The Utes tried to take control. Miller made a three-pointer with 9:05 left--Utah's last field goal--for 53-48 lead. Moments later, Miller made two free throws and Doleac one for 58-50 lead. But the Utes' Alex Jensen missed a shot and West made a three-pointer. Utah led, 63-58, with 3:27 left, but Solheim made four free throws to pull the Mountaineers to within one. West, who beat Cincinnati with a last second three-pointer, had two chances to give West Virginia the lead. He missed a three-pointer and a two-pointer in the last minute. Then Owens nearly came up with a steal, but fouled Doleac with 8.8 seconds left. Doleac made both and West' three-point attempts at the buzzer hit the front of the rim.

* UTAH'S LEADING SCORERS: Doleac 25, Miller 14.

* UTAH'S LEADING REBOUNDERS: Doleac 9, Alex Jensen 6.

* OTHER STUFF: Utah went 15 minutes without a field goal, six to start the game and nine to finish it . . . Utes made 12 of 16 free throws in last eight minutes and was 22 of 27 for the game . . . Miller finished with eight assists. . . . Utah shot 38.% in second half.

* WEST VIRGINIA 'S LEADING SCORERS: Solheim 16, Owens 12.

* WEST VIRGINIA'S LEADING REBOUNDERS: Owens 9, Solheim 7.

* OTHER STUFF: Owens had six steals . . . West Virginia is a poor free throw shooting team and Owens made that clear with an airball on a free throw attempt (used to thinner mountain air?). However, the Mountaineers made seven of eight from the line in last five minutes . . . West continued to shoot poorly, finishing 4 for 13 from the field.

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