Jordan Loveridge finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds
Nov. 08, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY - Jordan Loveridge matched his career-high with 24 points and collected a personal-best 13 rebounds, while Delon Wright narrowly missed a quadruple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and seven steals as Utah demolished Evergreen State in their season opener Friday night, 128-44.
"Delon has been waiting a long time to make an impact at this level," head coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "He has a calming influence over our team when he is on the floor. He also always seems to be in the right place to influence things in a positive way on the court. He has an excellent knack for being around the basketball and making things happen for us."
Utah set a number of records on the evening including most points ever in the Huntsman Center and largest margin of victory against an opposing college. The 128 points were four shy of the all-time single-game mark of 132 scored against Evansville back in 1960
Brandon Taylor chipped in 16 points and tied his career-high with six assists. Dakarai Tucker added 13, two shy of his personal best, and the Utes (1-0) led wire to wire. Parker Van Dyke added 12 points and five rebounds off the bench while fellow freshman Ahmad Fields notched a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Kenneth Ogbe was the seventh player in double figures with an even 10 points.
"We are trying to instill good habits in our players," Krystkowiak said. "That starts with a game like tonight. We have to become more consistent with our intensity, especially at the defensive end. We made some errors but playing hard is not something I'm going to yell at my team about. We want them to play with the utmost amount of effort.
The game counted as an exhibition contest for the Geoducks, an NAIA team. Kyle Calhoun had 11 points to lead Evergreen State, which withered under Utah's defensive pressure.
The Geoducks turned the ball over 20 times with Utah recording 17 steals, one shy of the single-game mark. Utah scored a total of 35 points off Evergreen State miscues, held a 56-20 edge in points in the paint, and also out-scored the Geoduck 26-0 on fastbreak points.
Other stats of note included the Utes shooting 64 percent from the floor, owning a 36-5 edge at the free-throw line and being a+27 on the glass. ESC shot just 28 percent in large part to making only 1-of-24 three-point tries.
"I don't think we took any selfish shots tonight" Krystkowiak added. "We had a high assist-to-basket ratio and we also doubled them up in rebounds. It's important for us to get Jeremy and Renan going and in a rhythm. I think every one of our starters got solid minutes this evening and can learn something
Utah broke the century mark for the first time since last year's opener against Willamette (104-47) and in the process captured their fourth-straight season opener.
The Utes play their first game against D1 competition next Friday at 8 p.m. against UC Davis.