Bengals? double-digit scorers too much for Utes

By James Boehly, Staff Writer

After flying high in a big win against Oregon, the Runnin’ Utes were shot back down to earth Saturday by Idaho State.

In the final 33 seconds, Idaho’s Matt Stucki and Amorrow Morgan combined to hit 6-of-8 free throws to hand the Utes their second loss of the season, 72-68.

For the Utes, this snaps a five-game winning streak that stretched back to Nov. 158212;the longest in nearly four years.

For the Bengals, the upset victory is only their second win of the season and ended a long drought. This is the first time Idaho has defeated the Utes since the 1958-1959 season. It’s the most significant win for Idaho since it defeated UCLA in the 1977 Sweet 16.

For most of the game, the Utes found themselves playing from behind. In the first half, the Utes were down by as many as 16 points, but only found themselves down by 11 at halftime. It didn’t help Utah’s cause that Idaho shot a blistering 64 percent from the field in the first half.

In the second half, Utah took its only lead of the game after two free throws by Shaun Green put it up 61-60. The lead lasted 19 seconds and the Utes would never see that light again.

In a losing effort, Luke Nevill had one of his best games of the season as he scored 22 points for the Utes8212;his second-highest scoring output of the year.

For the Bengals, the play of Stucki proved to be too much for the Utes. In addition to the last-minute free throws, Stucki scored 20 points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out nine assists in the close win.

Another impressive starter for the Utes was small forward Carlon Brown. In the 27 minutes he was on the floor, Brown scored 11 points and had six rebounds. This is the third game in which his point total reached double digits.

In addition to giving the Utes their only lead of the game, Green was the only player from the Ute bench to score in double digits with 14 points going alongside seven rebounds.

Even though this was an impressive night for Nevill, Brown and Green the Utes were not as impressive as a team. Of the remaining six players on the Utes’ squad, no player was able to score more than seven points.

Although the offense never got going in the second half, the Utes’ defense was better, as it held Idaho to only 27 points in the second half.

After this disappointing loss, the Utes will face two of their tougher opponents of the season as California visits the Huntsman Center on Saturday. Utah then has a quick turnaround date with Preseason All-American Blake Griffin and his No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners in Norman on Dec. 13.

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Erik Daenitz

Jim Boylen and the Utes were handed a 72-68 loss by Idaho State. The loss is the second disappointing loss for Utah this year, The first was to Division-II Southwest Baptist.