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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Runnin’ Utes shut down Randle, Stanford in 75-59 win

(Cole Tan/The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Utah’s game against Stanford on Thursday night was far from its best game of the season. The No. 11 Runnin’ Utes shot under 50 percent from the field, under 35 percent from deep and got outrebounded – something Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak doesn’t take lightly.


All that aside, Utah tightened up its defense after a rough start to the game and used production from the bench to pull ahead for its 16th-straight home victory over the Cardinal, 75-59.

The Utes were led by Wooden Award candidate Delon Wright, who finished the game with 15 points and five rebounds. In addition to Wright, Utah had three other players finish with double-digit points – Dallin Bachynski with 13 and Jordan Loveridge and Brekkott Chapman with 12 each.

(Cole Tan/The Daily Utah Chronicle)
(Cole Tan/The Daily Utah Chronicle)

After the game, Krystkowiak was particularly pleased with the contributions from the players off of the bench, outscoring their Stanford counterparts 33-5.

“It’s awesome,” he said of having this much depth. “We’ve got a deep team … that was certainly the difference, the guys coming in [the game] and producing.”

Heading into the matchup, something the Utes were concerned with was maintaining Pac-12 leading scorer Chasson Randle. The Stanford point guard was averaging 20.3 points per game heading into the contest, but Brandon Taylor and the rest of the Utah defense was determined to stop him.

Mission accomplished.

Randle only mustered up half of his usual point total, scoring 10 points on 2-for-11 shooting from the field. Additionally, the All-Pac-12 guard did not register his first bucket until the 6:24 mark in the second half.

“I think it started with [Taylor],” Krystkowiak said. “Our backcourt did a really good job of making things hard. [Randle’s] a guy that’s leading our conference in scoring, 2,000-point scorer … We just were trying to make him take tough shots the best that we could.”

In the first half, it took a while for the Runnin’ Utes to get anything going. Stanford jumped out to an early 10-4 leads thanks to some physical play, particularly on the offensive glass.

Down early, Utah needed a spark and got one when freshman Brekkott Chapman checked into the game. After two quick free throws, Chapman hit two three-point shots to give himself a quick eight points, and Utah a 13-12 lead

The rest of the half was a back-and-forth battle that saw fight in both squads. But just before halftime, big man Dallin Bachynski decided to take it upon himself to give the Utes some momentum heading into the break.

As Taylor drove the lane, he realized that he either needed to shoot the ball or dish as the shot clock was winding down. The point guard decided to dish to the roaming Bachynski, who softly put up the floater before the clock hit zero to give Utah a four-point lead.

The veteran center wasn’t done there. After Taylor missed a three pointer with two seconds left in the half, Bachynski corralled the offensive rebound and put up a shot before the game clock expired. Bachynski’s shot — another high-arcing floater — found the bottom of the net and put the Utes up 33-27 at the half.

“One of the coaches said, ‘your new nickname is floater,’” Bachynski said laughing. “I was able to know what time was on the shot clock, but luckily a couple of them went in for me.”

The momentum extended into the second half, as Utah came out of the locker room with a 15-2 run to put the Utes up 48-29 with 15:11 remaining in the game. During that stretch, Loveridge took over, scoring seven points in three consecutive possessions.

The Cardinal did make a small run courtesy of Wright’s AAU buddy Anthony Brown. The forward-guard combo drained shots from the behind the arc on two consecutive possessions to pull his team within 11, but the Utah lead was too much to overcome.

Taylor, who didn’t register a single field goal, iced the game with five made free throws down the stretch to send Stanford home with the loss.

The Cardinal were led by Brown with 15 points, followed by Marcus Allen with 13.

Following the win, the Runnin’ Utes improve to 19-4, and 9-2 in the Pac-12. As the season nears its end, Krystkowiak and company still have one goal in mind – a conference championship.

“Twenty-nine days, four weeks from [Saturday],” Krystkowiak said in reference to the date of the Pac-12 championship game.

The Utes will next play on Sunday when they host California. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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