Runnin’ Utes roll to 14th straight victory

Saturday night the No. 21 Utes held tight to their tried and true road script, rolling over San Diego State 61-41 at Cox Arena.

The Utes (19-3, 7-0 MWC) became the first team in league history to start off the Mountain West Conference slate with seven straight wins, and knocked off the Aztecs (9-11, 3-4 MWC) for the 27th time in 29 meetings.

The Utes 14-game winning streak is their longest since finishing the 2002 season on a 19-game tear.

Like the previous two games away from the Huntsman Center, the U got out to a slow start in a hostile environment, missing 19 of their first 24 shots from the floor.

But the Aztecs’ good fortune would come to an end after taking a 15-13 lead with 6:56 left in the first half.

The Utes found their shooting touch, going on an 11-0 run, including two straight three-pointers from guard Marc Jackson. The Aztecs missed on all seven of their field goal attempts during the Utes’ big rally.

The first half ended with the U holding a 28-21 lead, quieting the once rowdy crowd of 8,983.

The second stanza belonged to Richard Chaney, as the junior guard had his first true breakout since returning from a broken hand.

The southern California native busted out for nine of his 11 points in the second period, including seven straight midway through the half that allowed the Utes to cruise to the final 20-point spread.

The Utes held on defensively, keeping the Aztecs to a 34.1 shooting percentage, and outrebounding SDSU 36-23.

San Diego State leading scorer Brandon Heath was kept in check, only scoring six points on eight field goal attempts.

Ute forward Justin Hawkins, who, like Chaney has also battled the injury bug, had a big game with 15 points and eight rebounds.

The Utes finish up their three game road swing tonight in Las Vegas, as they take on UNLV (9-10, 2-5 MWC) at the Thomas & Mack Center.

The Utes have already knocked off UNLV at the Huntsman Center, posting a 70-52 victory in the conference opener.

The Rebels were picked during the preseason to win the MWC, but are currently near the bottom of the league, following an overtime home loss to BYU on Saturday.

With No. 14 through 19 all falling on Saturday, the Utes figure to move up in the national rankings when they are announced Monday.

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