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No. 9 Utah 78, Azusa Pacific 59

December 13, 1997

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ Andre Miller scored 17 points, nine in a 21-4 run to open the second half, as No. 9 Utah blew past Azusa Pacific 78-58 Friday night.

The Utes (9-0) matched their best start since the 1967-68 team began the year with nine straight victories.

Utah built a 37-28 halftime lead over the Cougars (7-2) before opening the second half with 11 straight points, including a 3-pointer and two free throws from Miller.

Hanno Mottola’s dunk with 17:06 to play gave Utah a 48-28 advantage. Mottola had nine points for the Utes, who won their 13th straight home game.

Alex Jensen scored a season-high 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Utah.

Jeremy DeVries’ basket with 16:07 to play broke the Utah streak. DeVries finished finished with 12 points.

The Utes then went on a 10-2 burst to stretch the lead to 58-32 with 11:42 to play. Miller had two more baskets in the run.

The Utah starters left for good after Miller hit a turnaround jumper and Trace Caton made a 3-pointer for a 69-39 lead with 8:46 left in the game.

T.J. Walker led the Cougars with 14 points, who are ranked sixth in the NAIA. Andy Newman added 11 points for Azusa Pacific.

Utah held the Cougars to 33 percent shooting and 37 points below their season scoring average.

The game marked the debut of heralded Utah freshman Britton Johnsen who has been out with tendonitis in his knee. Johnsen had seven points and seven rebounds in 11 minutes, but also committed three turnovers.

Azusa scored seven straight points to close to 27-22 with 4:35 left in the half. The Utes built the lead back to 37-24 and threatened to blow the game open, but Walker made two free throws and assisted on a layup by Corey Smith for a 37-28 Utah edge at halftime.

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