Jordan Loveridge led the Utes in scoring this evening
Nov. 22, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY - Jordan Loveridge paced four players in double figures with 14 points and Princeton Onwas chipped in 12 points and 10 boards off the bench to lead Utah men's basketball to an 84-57 victory over Lamar.
Renan Lenz added 12 points and Delon Wright chipped in 10 for the Utes (4-0), who won their second game in two days hosting the Global Sports Hoops Showcase. Utah shot 69 percent from the field in the second half and finished 34-of-63 (54.0 percent) overall. The Utes out-rebounded Lamar 37-31 and held a 46-26 edge in points in the paint.
"I think once we settled down, Delon and Princeton really got the ball to the tin," head coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "Jordan started to assert himself and that really opened the game up for us offensively. I think we freed Princeton up a little tonight. We wanted him to just go out and play like he likes - with high energy and in that free-wheeling style. He gave us a big boost defensively also because he was guarding their best player."
"I just tried to be real aggressive," Onwas added. "I think Coach Krystkowiak started trusting me more now that I'm healthier. I've been hindered when it comes to jumping and my athleticism, but I think I'm getting back to full strength."
The Cardinals shot just 25-of-61 from the field (41 percent). Rhon Mitchell scored 17 points off the bench and Nimrod Hilliard added 16 for Lamar (1-4).
Utah broke open a close game early in the second half, turning a six-point halftime lead into a double-digit margin behind the efforts of Loveridge and Wright.
However, Utah buried the Cardinals behind an 18-4 run. Onwas began the spurt with a dunk and Dakarai Tucker finished it with a layup, giving Utah a 69-44 lead with 5:59 remaining.
"I think our depth - notably, Dallin, Kenneth, Ahmad and Parker - made an impact this evening," Krystkowiak added. "It wasn't long ago that we didn't have that luxury but now we have some depth and we want to take advantage of it. We lost some focus in the early going and we were turning the ball over. I was not unhappy with the shot selection, I just thought the things that were not going well were fixable. We made some adjustments and played better in the second half."
The Utes pulled away by imposing their will down low. Out of the nine field goals that made up the decisive run, eight came on layups or dunks.
Lamar offered plenty of resistance to Utah out of the gate. During the first half, the Cardinals edged the Utes in categories where they had dominated against their first three opponents.
Hilliard scored a pair of quick baskets and Wilson slashed in for a layup to push Lamar out to an early 7-3 lead. Loveridge drained a 3-pointer and Lenz converted a 3-point play to put Utah back in front. It helped spark a 13-3 run for the Utes, culminating in a Brandon Taylor 3-pointer and a 16-10 lead.
The Cardinals weren't finished. They turned again to Hilliard, who hit a pair of baskets to close the gap. Lamar finally retook the lead a couple of minutes later, going up 21-20 on a layup from Donovan Ross.
Utah went back in front when Tucker drained a 3-pointer on the next possession. But the Utes could not shake the Cardinals.
Lenz hit a couple of baskets to build Utah a five-point cushion. Then Taylor added another 3-pointer to push the Ute lead to six at 32-26. Each time, Mitchell answered with jumpers on the other end to keep Lamar within striking distance going into halftime.
Utah will conclude the Global Sports Hoops Showcase on Saturday against Savannah State at 5 p.m. Lamar and Grand Canyon will meet in the afternoon's first game at 2 p.m.