Utes win fourth straight Pac-12 game, gears up for Arizona

Courtesy+by+Daniel+Kwon%2FThe+State+Press

Daniel Kwon

Courtesy by Daniel Kwon/The State Press

By Griffin Adams and Griffin Adams

Courtesy by Daniel Kwon/The State Press
Courtesy by Daniel Kwon/The State Press

Heading into Thursday night’s game against Arizona State, Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak insisted his team wasn’t looking ahead to Arizona on Saturday. Well, after a 76-59 victory over the Sun Devils in their house, it’s safe to say that the Runnin’ Utes were well prepared for this one.

Utah was led by none other than Delon Wright, who finished with a game-high 21 points, including a perfect 12-for-12 night from the charity stripe. Jordan Loveridge chipped in with 14 points of his own and Brandon Taylor added 13.

The Utes used a well-balanced offense to navigate through the wire-to-wire victory with 10 different Utah players scoring.

After a slow start that saw Utah holding onto a one-point lead nearly halfway through the first half, the Runnin’ Utes decided to kick it into another gear before they went to the locker room. From Wright getting to the line to timely three pointers across the board, the Utes finished the opening slate with a 27-11 run to give them a 40-23 lead at halftime.

In the second half, it was much of the same story. Krystkowiak continued to receive contributions from almost his entire lineup as the Utes built a lead as large as 27 points.

A highlight play to spark the second-half surge happened at the 17:35 mark, when Utah big man Jakob Poeltl had a smaller defender on him in the post. Wright, realizing the mismatch, passed the ball in to the Austrian center and Poeltl did the rest.

Poeltl sized up the defender, used a swift spin move to get around and flushed the ball home for two to give Utah all the momentum.

The Sun Devils were led by Savon Goodman, who had a near double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds, and Gerry Blakes who finished with 10 points.

The Runnin’ Utes will stay in the Copper State as they move on to their top 10 showdown with Arizona in Tuscon. It will mark the first time two Pac-12 teams ranked in the top 10 will face off against one another since 1998. The game is scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m. MT.

 

[email protected]

@GriffDoug