It was Ricky Johns' night and he sure knew how to make the best of it. Playing in his final home game as a Ute, Johns scored a career high 30 points and led Utah to a 74-68 victory over the streaking San Diego State Aztecs. The victory, Utah's second straight, moves them into a tie for 6th place in the conference.
Heading into Tuesday's game, the Aztecs had won seven of their last eight and this loss pretty much dooms them to the NIT, unless they can win the Mountain West Tournament. A terrible first half by the Aztecs, where they shot only 35% from the field, forced them into catch up mode the entire night. Though Utah allowed them back into the game, the Utes held onto the lead and won, which came as a surprise, because I really didn't think Utah had it in them.
Luke Nevill scored 16 points on 7-9 shooting and had a game high 11 rebounds. But clearly the night belonged to Ricky Johns, the lone senior on this year's Utah squad. In 33 minutes he scored 30 points on an impressive 11-13 shooting, including 6-7 from behind the arc. So looking at his stats from Tuesday night, I have to ask, where in the hell has he been all this time? How could Giacoletti not play him the amount of minutes we saw Tuesday night? Maybe if he had, the Utes would be far closer to .500 than 6 games. But I'm not going to bitch, this was a great win and I'm happy for Johns. Though the two years he spent with Utah will be remembered as some of the worst two years in modern program history, Johns conducted his time here at Utah with class. He will be missed.
Now just end the season with a win over BYU!