In the final home game of the season, Utah snapped a season long 4-game losing streak, crushing the struggling Colorado State Rams 82-61. The Utes sweep the season series between the two schools for the first time in three years. The victory also guarantees Utah their first winning season in three years -- a step in the right direction for first year head coach Jim Boylen.
Utah pretty much dominated the game from the start, rolling to a 27-9 lead and they never looked back. Shaun Green led the Utes with 20 points, including 4 three pointers, while Luke Nevill notched 19 on 7-13 shooting. The Utes' offense had little trouble with the Rams' defense, shooting a blistering 58% from the field and an equally impressive 53% from outside. Utah managed to control pretty much every facet of the game, stepping it up on both ends of the court.
For Colorado State, they could not get anything done on offense. Utah's defense held them to only 38% shooting from the field and 37% from the perimeter. The struggles on offense were evident by the lack of scoring, as the Rams only managed 61 points. Forward Andre McFarland was the Rams' leading scorer with 15 points on 6-17 shooting, but it was hardly enough to keep them in the game. With the loss, Colorado State drops to 6-23 overall and remain winless in conference play. And with their final game being played against New Mexico, it seems most likely the Rams will become the first winless team in Mountain West history. With their win, Utah moves to 16-13 overall and 7-8 in the Mountain West. Utah now faces a tough road game against UNLV to close out the season. Tuesday's game also marked Johnnie Bryant and Chris Grant's final home game as Utes. Grant didn't get much playing time, but in 6 minutes managed 5 points, while Bryant scored 14 in 27 minutes.
Utah played extremely well and it was nice to finally get a win again. Though the season hasn't panned out quite like many Utah fans would have hoped, there are some instances of improvement. The team plays far better defense and are more physical, however, they still have not figured out how to win close games. Once they figure that out, this team will not only dramatically improve, they'll become a contender again. Now hopefully Utah can follow it up with a surprise win at UNLV.
Just the stats...
|C. Brown (G)||13||2||1-4||25.0||0-0||0.0||0-0||0.0||0||2||2||2||1||0||0||1|
|L. Drca (G)||28||2||1-3||33.3||0-0||0.0||0-2||0.0||1||5||6||10||1||0||2||1|
|L. Borha (G)||28||4||1-3||33.3||2-2||100.0||0-0||0.0||0||2||2||3||1||0||1||3|
|K. Tillie (F)||18||13||6-7||85.7||1-1||100.0||0-0||0.0||0||4||4||0||0||0||1||3|
|S. Green (F)||34||20||8-11||72.7||0-0||0.0||4-6||66.7||4||5||9||1||0||2||0||1|
Colorado State Players
|J. Simmons (G)||23||5||2-4||50.0||1-2||50.0||0-2||0.0||1||3||4||2||0||1||0||1|
|M. Walker (G)||32||10||4-11||36.4||0-1||0.0||2-6||33.3||0||2||2||2||0||0||1||3|
|A. Nigon (G)||25||6||2-3||66.7||0-0||0.0||2-2||100.0||1||4||5||3||0||0||0||2|
|W. Gardner (G)||31||11||3-6||50.0||2-2||100.0||3-5||60.0||0||3||3||3||0||0||0||2|
|A. McFarland (F)||31||15||6-17||35.3||0-0||0.0||3-9||33.3||0||1||1||0||0||0||2||2|
|J. Van Tassel||2||0||0-0||0.0||0-0||0.0||0-0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|