Freshman forward Brekkott Chapman continues to make a case for a spot in the starting lineup, this time leading all scorers in the Utes 80-66 win over South Dakota State. B-Easy also chipped in four rebounds, as the No. 14 Runnin' Utes cruised, leading by 17 at the half and by as many as 25 points before head coach Larry Krystkowiak pulled his starters.
"Our guys looked gassed from the start, we just didn’t have much to us tonight, and there aren’t any excuses for it," South Dakota State head coach Scott Nagy said. "I want this to bother our guys, the way that we played tonight, and I hope that it does. We’re not gonna stand around and use excuses for how long we’ve been on the road or what’s been going on with a couple of guys being sick. If you’re gonna play, there aren’t any excuses, and both those guys played."
Utah's star guard Delon Wright had his usual all-around game, finishing four rebounds shy of a triple double. Wright totaled 17 points (on 7-of-8 shooting, 3-of-3 from the free throw line), six rebound, 10 assists, and two steals. Several of Wright's assists went to Chapman (9-of-13 from the field), who finished in a variety of ways, at the rim, on pull ups, and knocking down three-pointers (2-of-3).
Fellow freshman Jakob Poeltl finished with nine points (4-of-8 shooting) and six rebounds, two assists and one block. And guard/forward Dakarai Tucker finished with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, 2-of-4 from three-point range.
Backup guards Kenneth Ogbe and Isaiah Wright got plenty of floor time in this game. Both players made the most of their time, with Ogbe totaling eight points, two rebounds, and three assists (against just one turnover) and Wright put up six points, three assists, and a steal.
Utah out-rebounded the Jacks 37-35 and shot 51.7 percent from the field, but their free throw shooting continues to be an issue. Poeltl made just 25 percent of his charity tosses (1-for-4), and the team as a whole shot 63.2 percent from the line.
Forward Cody Larsen led the Jacks with 13 points and six rebounds. Reed Tellinghuisen added 12 points and four rebounds.
All-in-all this was a good win over a decent team that just knocked off Utah State in the Spectrum 68-65 in overtime. South Dakota State drops to 9-4 on the season with a date against Northern Iowa coming up Sunday.
The Utes improve to 9-2 on the season, 7-0 in the friendly confines of the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Next up for the Utes is Carroll College (Montana) on Dec. 30, which will wrap up the non-conference season. The Utes start the Pac-12 season at home Jan. 2 against USC, followed quickly by UCLA, and Colorado.