And with that, the first year under Jim Boylen comes to a close. Utah lost Monday night 69-60 to Tulsa in the second round of the CBI Tournament, ending their season on a downer. The Utes, who struggled for most of the game, finish Boylen's first season with an 18-15 record, 7 wins better than what the Utes saw last year.
The game, though, was much like Utah's season as a whole -- some promise, but the team could never really get over the hump. After falling behind by 15 at the half, Utah slowly got back into the game and even closed to within 5 late in the second, however, that was as close as they got and Tulsa put the Utes away in the final minutes. The outcome disappointing, but Utah didn't play well enough to win and it's actually fairly suprising the game was even this close.
Luke Nevill did not have the game he needed for Utah to have a chance, only scoring 12 points on 4 of 12 shooting. Even though he had a sizable weight advantage inside over Jerome Jordan, Nevill had a very difficult time getting to the hoop, often being pushed out of his reach, which made it difficult for Utah to have any real inside game. It didn't help Utah couldn't shoot worth a damn, either, only shooting 36% from the field. And though Johnnie Bryant had 19 points, he failed to show up when Utah needed him the most.
For Tulsa, they got what they needed from leading scorer Ben Uzoh, as he had a game high 22 points, hitting 5 of 11 shots. They also got solid contribution from Ray Reese (16 points) and Jerome Jordan (12 points). And even though Tulsa didn't shoot all that great from the field, they still managed to do slightly better than the Utes.
So how did Tulsa win this game? Well, for starters, free throws. The Golden Hurricanes attempted 36, making 29. The Utes only shot 22 from the line, making 15. Beyond that, the game was pretty even. The Utes shot better from outside, only had one more turnover and they even managed to out rebound Tulsa. However, the hole they dug themselves into in the first half did not help matters. In fact, that played a bigger role than the free throw discrepancy. Had Utah not allowed Tulsa to go on a 14-5 run prior to the break, they very well could have won this game. The Utes played a better second half than Tulsa -- though, to be fair, both teams played rather pathetic -- and that at least got them back into it. But it's pointless rehashing over what could have been, especially when neither team played all that well. Which is why Utah still managed to make it competitive, even playing as badly as they were.
Utah's season comes to an end, but was it a success? I think it was a mixed bag and I'm optimistic about the future, but realize there is still a lot of work to do here.
|B. Uzoh (G)||35||22||5-11||45.5||11-14||78.6||1-5||20.0||0||4||4||1||0||1||2||2|
|B. McDade (G)||37||4||2-10||20.0||0-0||0.0||0-4||0.0||1||5||6||3||1||0||2||4|
|C. Walls (F)||33||8||3-7||42.9||2-4||50.0||0-0||0.0||3||6||9||3||0||0||0||2|
|R. Reese (F)||32||16||3-6||50.0||8-8||100.0||2-3||66.7||0||3||3||2||2||0||2||3|
|J. Jordan (C)||31||12||4-9||44.4||4-6||66.7||0-0||0.0||3||4||7||0||0||1||4||3|
|L. Borha (G)||17||6||3-6||50.0||0-1||0.0||0-2||0.0||2||1||3||2||0||0||1||1|
|L. Drca (G)||26||9||2-5||40.0||4-4||100.0||1-3||33.3||0||2||2||3||0||0||0||5|
|C. Brown (F)||22||6||2-3||66.7||2-2||100.0||0-1||0.0||0||3||3||1||1||0||3||2|
|S. Green (F)||22||5||2-3||66.7||0-0||0.0||1-2||50.0||0||1||1||0||2||1||1||4|
|K. Tillie (F)||18||3||0-5||0.0||3-4||75.0||0-1||0.0||0||7||7||0||0||1||1||2|