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Bogut lifts Utah to first-round Preseason NIT win

Posted: Tuesday November 18, 2003 1:04AM; Updated: Tuesday November 18, 2003 1:28AM
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Freshman Andrew Bogut made a big impression in his Utah debut.

Bogut, a 6-foot-10 forward from Australia, scored 15 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as the Utes rallied to defeat Georgia State 46-38 Monday in the first round of the Preseason NIT.

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"Andrew helped us big. He's so strong in the post. He just took over down there," said teammate Richard Chaney.

Bogut's presence masked the absence of senior center Tim Frost, the Utes' second leading scorer last season. Frost has been out since the start of practice with a sore back but with Bogut in the post, the Utes outscored the Panthers 36-22 in the paint.

"Bogut has good size and nice hands. We had trouble guarding him and he made some big plays down the stretch," said Georgia State coach Michael Perry.

Chaney had eight points and Justin Hawkins added seven for Utah, which played just one upperclassman.

Reo Logan led Georgia State with 11 points and Kevin Thomas scored eight as the Panthers shot 6 of 26 from the field in the second half.

Georgia State led 31-26 on Reo Logan's jumper before Chris Jackson's dunk sparked a 12-3 run. Bogut made two baskets in the run and his assist to Hawkins with 2:24 remaining gave Utah a 38-34 lead.

"Our intensity picked up big-time. It had to. We want to go to New York," Chaney said. Utah plays Minnesota on Wednesday for the right to advance to the semifinals in Madison Square Garden.

Utah's pressure man-to-man defense allowed only three field goals in the final 12:05 as the Panthers were unable to get close to their lowest output of last season of 57 points.

"We did a great job defending the 3. We also got back on the break. That was key because they are a fast-break team and a 3-point shooting team," said Utah coach Rick Majerus, whose Utah teams are 14-1 in season openers. The only loss was to Kansas in Kansas City in the 1995 BCI Classic.

The Panthers' trapping press defense rattled the Utes early in the game and Utah committed four turnovers before they scored a single point. In the first-ever meeting between the two teams, Georgia State jumped to an 8-0 lead and never trailed in the first half.

The tournament is using a 3-point line at 20 feet, 6 1/4 inches and a trapezoid lane that widens from 12 feet at the free throw line to 19 feet, 8 1/4 inches on the baseline. Utah missed all eight 3-point attempts and the teams combined to shoot 3 of 21 from beyond the arc.

"They are the antithesis of what we are," Utah's Nick Jacobson said. "They are small, quick and athletic."

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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