Runnin’ Utes Can’t Keep Up With No. 2 Arizona


Jack Gambassi

Utah basketball’s Both Gach (#2) in the matchup against the UCLA Bruins at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. (Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Ethan Pearce, Sports Editor


The University of Utah men’s basketball team suffered a blowout loss against the Arizona Wildcats to snap their two-game winning streak with now just three games left to go in the regular season. Arizona, a top rated team in the country, looked unstoppable for most of the night, overmatching the Utes.

Arizona landed an early punch, starting the game on an 8-0 run. Utah punched right back with a 7-0 run of their own after bringing in a few subs just two minutes into the game.

Utah gave everything they had for most of the first half, fighting on every possession and playing tough, physical defense against Arizona’s scoring attack. The crowd was into it, willing the team to fight harder in an attempt to make it three in a row.

Utah briefly took the lead before a trio of quick three pointers from Arizona propelled them ahead by eight. That was the start of a big momentum shift for the Wildcats, who snagged control of the game down the stretch before halftime.

In the end it was a 26-5 run by the Wildcats over the final 6:12 of the half who took a 20-point lead into the locker room. 

Arizona showed why they’re a top-two team in the country right now with a dominant second half to cruise to an easy victory. They’re gearing up for a deep March Madness run and they looked every bit the part tonight. Their offense was completely unstoppable as they knocked down three after three, contributing to a blowout 97-77 final. Wildcats point guard Kerr Kriisa finished with a triple double.

“They’re ranked No. 2 in the country for a reason,” said head coach Craig Smith after the game. “They do it all.”

“There’s a lot, obviously, that we can do better,” Gabe Madsen said. “There’s some good things to take away from that, just like any game.”

Utah has just two games left in their regular season before the Pac-12 Tournament, both at home. They’re back in action on Saturday against Arizona State, then next week against Colorado for Senior Day.


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