Utes run past Oklahoma and into Sweet Sixteen
Tucson, AZ (Sports Network) – Justin Hawkins scored 20 points and pulled down
14 rebounds to lead the sixth-seeded Utah Utes to a 67-58 victory over third-
seeded Oklahoma in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the McKale
Center. Marc Jackson added 17, hitting 4-of-5 from three-point range, and
Bryant Markson chipped in 16 points in the win.
Andrew Bogut contributed 10 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for Utah
(29-5), which advances to the Sweet 16 to play the winner of the
Cincinnati/Kentucky contest on Friday.
Taj Gray led the Sooners (25-8) with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Oklahoma shot
just 32 percent from the field and never led in the contest. OSU finished 2-
of-19 from three-point range. Terrell Everett had 16 points in the loss.
Utah, which led by nine at halftime, opened a 40-27 advantage early in the
second half. Jackson, who was 0-of-4 from beyond the arc in Thursday’s first-
round win over UTEP, hit a pair of three-pointers out of the break to help
extend the advantage to 13.
A layup by Markson gave the Utes a 44-29 lead six minutes into the second
half, but Oklahoma ran off eight straight points to pull within 44-37. The
Utes answered with five unanswered points to restore their double-digit lead,
Kevin Bookout got the Sooners within nine, 49-40, with a pair of free throws
with 7 1/2 minutes left, but again the Utes responded. Back-to-back dunks by
Markson and a jumper by Bogut built the lead back to 55-42 and the Sooners
would not get within single digits again until Everett made a pair of free
throws in the closing seconds for the game’s final points.
Jackson hit back-to-back three-pointers to spark an early 12-point run and
Utah would maintain the lead throughout the game. Markson scored the final
four points of the spurt to put the Utes ahead, 14-2, five minutes into
Oklahoma, though, forced 11 first-half turnovers and the Utes went on a long
scoring drought to allow the Sooners to pull within 20-16 with five minutes
left before halftime. Utah closed strong, scoring 10 of the final 15 points of
the half to take a 30-21 lead into the locker room.
Bookout and Lawrence McKenzie each had three fouls before the break and were
limited to about eight minutes of first-half action. McKenzie had two points
and Bookout, who began the tournament averaging almost 12 points and seven
rebounds a game, did not score or grab a carom in the half.
The Sooners shot just 26 percent from the field (8-of-31) in the opening half,
including an 0-of-7 clip from three-point range.