Marko Kovacevic saw his first action as a Ute with eight points and six rebounds
Dec. 28, 2013
Ahmad Fields tallied 13 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season, Parker Van Dyke had 11 points and four assists and Dallin Bachynski scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds as the Utes shot 67 percent from the field.
Ahmad came back focused after Christmas and we wanted to reward him,” head coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “The key ingredient he brings is confidence. You look and see that he gets another double-double off the bench so that's what he does. It hasn't been an easy road these freshmen are driving but Brandon and Dakarai found that out last season and they’re playing great for us.”
Delon Wright failed to score in double figures for the first time this season with only six points, but grabbed a personal-best 17 rebounds and six assists against the Firebirds, who fell to 2-13.
“We just wanted to play our game and fine tune some things offensively,” Wright said. “We also wanted to work on the defensive end because we have been a little slack on some things. Mainly, we worked on execution.”
Alex Perez scored 13 points for St. Katherine, playing its debut season. The four games the Firebirds have played against Division 1 schools have resulted in losses with an average margin of 70 points. Utah led 19-0 before Perez finally broke the drought with a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 10:38 left in the first half.
Perhaps the biggest news from this blowout was the entrance of Marko Kovacevic. The junior transfer from Western Community College played eight minutes and finished with eight points and six rebounds.
“Marko is ready to go now that he's back from the injury,” Krystkowiak said. “He brings some more toughness and skill in the post. He said he didn't want to waste his year and he's working on earning some playing time. He does the little things, like screening, that will be key in league play.”
This was only Utah's second largest margin of victory this season. The Utes beat Evergreen State in the opener, 128-44 — the widest margin of any college game this year.
The Firebirds, who lost Friday night at No. 20 San Diego State 118-35, took a morning flight to Salt Lake City and didn't arrive until a few hours before tip-off.
The Firebirds attempted 39 3-pointers, making nine, as the Utes dominated points in the key, 80-14. Utah also had an astounding rebounding edge at 71-12 as the home side grabbed 21 offensive rebounds.
Utah opens Pac-12 play on Thursday at 6 p.m. against the reigning conference champions, undefeated No. 12 Oregon.