Delon Wright scored a game-high 20 points
Feb. 14, 2014
LOS ANGELES - Delon Wright scored 20 points and hot-shooting Utah earned its first road win of the season withstanding a late run Thursday night for a 79-71 victory at USC.
"We've had so many games like this. I really would have liked to have just run away with it," head coach Larry Krystkowiak said."It was another learning experience but hopefully we can chalk this one up again -- learning these lessons now with the positive medicine of a win."
The win, Utah's third straight, moves the Runnin' Utes to 17-7 and marked their first win at USC since 1994. It was also a successful homecoming for the three starters who hail from the City of Angels.
Wright, playing in his hometown, also led Utah with nine rebounds and added five assists, Dakarai Tucker missed one shot and scored 13 points and Brandon Taylor scored nine points and finished with a team-high six assists. Jordan Loveridge added 19 points and eight boards for the Utes.
"It was a huge win for us," Taylor said. "We came out with the mindset that we were going to do anything that we could to get ourselves a win. We didn't play as well as we would've liked, but it was enough. That matters."
"We moved the ball around and we were unselfish tonight," Tucker added. "We played very well at the beginning of the second half, and that gave us a lead. We'll have to go and look at the film to see what we could've done better, but we're happy."
Utah broke the game open to start the second half for a 56-39 lead on 8-of-11 shooting, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range. The Utes never trailed in the second, although USC cut its deficit to 71-67 with 3:15 left.
Tucker powered the outburst with eight points, including a pair of shots from beyond the arc. Taylor also hit a 3-pointer over the lopsided span. Dallin Bachynski, who finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, and Wright each added a basket as Utah extended its lead to 17 with 12:54 left to play.
Clinging to a 73-68 advantage after USC rallied, Loveridge hit a huge 3-pointer from the right wing to give Utah a 76-68 advantage, one they would not relinquish.
After falling behind by eight early, Coach Krystkowiak rallied the troops.
"We weren't playing very hard. Those guys really got after it and we got a taste of it and hopefully we can kind of put it in a bottle now and play harder when we are on the road."
Byron Wesley led the way for USC with 20 points. For the Trojans (10-14, 1-10), it was their fifth straight loss and 10th in their last 11 games - all in the Pac-12.
Utah is back in action on Saturday afternoon at 2:30 PT when it travels to Westwood for a contest against UCLA.