Delon Wright scored 19 points for the Utes
Feb. 06, 2014
Jordan Loveridge added 16 points and 13 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season as the Utes (15-7, 4-6 Pac-12) beat Washington at home for the first time since 1970. Despite committing 17 turnovers, Utah shot 60 percent from the floor in the second half as it pulled away from the Huskies.
"We were battling in the first half and defensively we were solid,” Loveridge said. “We knew if we kept getting some stops and our offense picked up, we'd be fine. We did what we needed to do and got the win."
C.J. Wilcox scored 20 points playing in his final game in his home state to lead the Huskies (13-10, 5-5), while Nigel Williams-Goss added 19 points. Wilcox moved into fifth place on Washington's all-time scoring list with 1,749 points.
The Huskies whittled the deficit to four points on Desmond Simmons' layup to make it 67-63 with 1:56 left but Utah halted the rally when Taylor drilled a 3-pointer and Jeremy Olsen blocked Williams-Goss to set up a clinching layup by Princeton Onwas with 59.4 seconds left.
Both teams came out on fire offensively to start the second half as Washington made nine of its first 12 shots and Utah made 10 of its first 14 shots.
With Washington leading 51-49, Utah held the Huskies without a field goal for 5 1/2 minutes and ripped off a 13-0 run. Wright capped things by stealing the ball from Williams-Goss and taking it in for a dunk to give the Utes a 62-51 lead with 5:52 remaining. Washington missed six straight shots during the decisive run and turned the ball over five times.
“Well we counted 10-straight stops on the bench and that was key,” head coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “We wanted to string together some 'kills'. We have a team coming from sea level that wants to push and even though we had our hands full in the first half, our guys stuck with it in the second half and played well.”
Turnovers were a major problem for Utah through much of the first half, coughing up the ball four times in the game's first four minutes. The Utes turned the ball over 10 times by halftime and Washington took full advantage - scoring 10 points off those mistakes.
Washington went up 9-2 on Simmons' basket just five minutes into the half but made just 36.4 percent (12-of-33) of their shots before halftime.
Loveridge sparked a lead with a jumper to give Utah its first lead and converted a 3-point play a possession later to put Utah in front 13-11. Washington returned the favor with its own big run. The Huskies held Utah without a field goal for nearly four minutes and forced six turnovers. That helped themrun off nine unanswered points - culminating in a jumper from Williams-Goss that made it 20-13 with 7:35 left before halftime.
Utah settled down and chipped away at the lead once more, cutting the margin to one, 20-19, on a pair of free throws from Dallin Bachynski. Washington rattled off three quick baskets - capped off by a Wilcox 3-pointer - to push the lead back to 27-20 with 3:49 remaining.
The Utes had one more run in them before halftime as Taylor answered Wilcox's 3-pointer with one of his own to cut the deficit to four. Wright then scored Utah's last six points of the half - including a go-ahead layup with 12 seconds left - to give the Utes a 31-30 halftime lead.
“We were really sluggish in the first half,” Krystkowiak said. I don't know if our guys just expected magic in the building. Washington is a great team defensively against the 3-pointer. We turned the ball over too many times but we went into halftime with a lead. I thought we shot the ball well and got some points in the paint. It was focal point of ours all week, trying to get the ball in the paint.”
"We knew if we kept things up with our defensive intensity, weather the storm, we'd come out on the other side with a sunny day," Taylor stated.
Utah built a three-point lead early in the second half, going ahead 37-34 on a layup from Taylor. Washington scored on two straight possessions and took a 39-37 lead on another Wilcox 3-pointer.
The Huskies never led by more than two points in the second half and went ahead for the last time on a Williams-Goss layup that made it 51-49 in favor of Washington with 11:25 remaining in the game.
Utah is back in action on Saturday night at 6 p.m. against Washington State. This is the Utes’ Power of Pink game to help raise cancer awareness.