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Shocked! Runnin' Utes Take Down Wichita State 69-68

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Utah guard Delon Wright nails a 13-footer in overtime to give the Runnin' Utes the victory and end Wichita State's 35-game regular season and 12-game road winning streaks.

Utah center Jakob Poeltl receives a pass from guard Delon Wright and slices through the Wichita State defense for the dunk. The Runnin' Utes took down the No. 8 Shockers 69-68 in OT.
Utah center Jakob Poeltl receives a pass from guard Delon Wright and slices through the Wichita State defense for the dunk. The Runnin' Utes took down the No. 8 Shockers 69-68 in OT.
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

No. 8-ranked Wichita State's 35-game regular season unbeaten streak came to an end on the hardwood of Utah's Jon M. Huntsman Center late Wednesday night, as the Utes outlasted the Shockers 69-68 in overtime. The Shockers had won 12 straight road games, the nation's longest such streak, and were 38-8 as visitors.

"This is huge for us and huge for our program. This is the type of game we have always lost in the past and this time we found a way to get it done," said Utah senior guard Delon Wright.

Wright nailed the go-ahead basket with 14 seconds left in overtime, giving Utah a one-point lead, but the Utes still had to weather a Fred Van Vleet free throw and a boat load of missed free throws to finally come away with the victory. Utah center Jakob Poeltl missed two free throws with 1.7 seconds on the clock, the second intentionally, and the Shockers couldn't get their half-court heave to even draw backboard. Finally, it was over, and Utah's players celebrated the big win.

Utah's junior guard Brandon Taylor helped lead the charge, scoring 17 points to lead all scorers and recorded three rebounds, four assists, and one steal.

All Pac-12 guard Wright had a better game than his last Top 25 outting, scoring 13 points, pulling down six rebounds, dishing out seven assists, stealing one and blocking a shot. His shot in the lane against the smaller Van Vleet was the kind of aggressive, attacking player Utah fans needed to see in this important pre-conference clash. It was the kind of game-winning shot that helps All America and Wooden award resumes.

Utah's size was a problem for the visitors from Kansas, as starting center Jakob Poeltl, the Austrian 7-footer, ruled the paint. Poeltl finished the night with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots. The big man, who some have recently projected as a possible first-round NBA draft pick, altered even the shots he didn't block and forced the hot-shooting Shockers farther out on the floor. Fellow center Dallin Bachynski brought energy and rebounding when Utah needed it most, recording three points and four rebounds in a stretch that might have turned the game around for the Utes.

The Utes did a good defensive job on Wichita State's leading scorer Ron Baker, holding the All America candidate to just 15 points (3.5 points under his season average). Baker shot just 6-of-13 from the field (46 percent), but hit half his three pointers (3-of-6 on the night). The Utes held the Shockers to 38.1 percent shooting, while shooting 47.1 percent themselves.

While it seemed the Shockers couldn't miss from downtown, they actually finished shooting just 36.7 percent from behind the arc. However, WSU hit three straight to end regulation as part of a 11-2 run in the final three minutes that nearly doomed the home team.

Utah finished the game shooting 52.2 percent from the charity stripe (12-of-23), which continues to be the Top 25 Utes' Achilles heel. Ironically, it came down to two free throws by backup guard/forward Dakarai Tucker (13 points and four boards) to send the Utes into overtime and save the game for the home team. Tucker redeemed himself after allowing a five second call when he was neither able to inbound the ball near the end of regulation nor call a timeout, turning the ball over to Wichita State for another score.

With the victory, Utah improves to 6-1 on the season, 6-0 at home, 1-1 versus the Top 25. Utah's victory over a Top 10 team was the first for the Utes since 2002 (when Utah beat then No. 1-ranked Alabama 51-49), and Krystkowiak's team snapped a 13-game losing streak against ranked teams.

Team: Wichita State
Player Name FG-FGA 3-pt FG-FGA FT-FTA Off Rebs Def Rebs Total Rebs Assists Steals Blocks TO PF Total Points
Darius Carter F 4-6 0-0 2-2 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 5 10
Tekele Cotton G 4-8 3-5 3-4 1 2 3 1 2 1 1 2 14
Evan Wessel G 1-5 1-4 3-4 4 5 9 0 0 1 0 2 6
Ron Baker G 6-13 3-6 0-0 0 6 6 1 1 0 2 4 15
Fred Van Vleet 5-19 2-10 1-3 2 1 3 4 1 0 2 0 13
Bush Wamukota C 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Rauno Nurger C 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0
Rashard Kelly F 2-4 0-1 0-0 3 1 4 0 0 0 0 1 4
Shaquille Morris F 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 4 5 1 0 1 0 3 0
Ria'n Holland G 2-5 2-4 0-0 0 2 2 0 1 0 0 2 6
Team: Utah
Player Name FG-FGA 3-pt FG-FGA FT-FTA Off Rebs Def Rebs Total Rebs Assists Steals Blocks TO PF Total Points
Chris Reyes F 0-2 0-0 1-3 0 3 3 0 0 0 2 1 1
Jakob Poeltl C 4-6 0-0 4-10 4 7 11 0 0 3 1 3 12
Kenneth Ogbe G 0-1 0-1 2-2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
Delon Wright G 6-13 1-4 0-2 0 6 6 7 1 1 3 1 13
Brnadon Taylor G 6-13 3-7 2-2 0 3 3 4 1 0 2 1 17
Dallin Bachynski C 1-2 0-0 1-1 3 1 4 0 0 0 1 3 3
Brekkot Chapman F 3-7 2-3 0-0 2 2 4 2 0 1 1 2 8
Kyle Kuzma F 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Isaiah Wright 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Dakarai Tucker G 4-7 3-6 2-2 0 4 1 1 0 0 1 0 13

Rivalry Revisited:

Next up for the Utes is a trip down south to take on BYU in the Marriott Center at 7 p.m. MT on Dec. 10. The Cougars are 4-2 on the season with an RPI of 17, but Krystkowiak might have added a wrinkle to the game. According to Real Sports Live, Coach K said, "We play five elite teams in the preseason. Well, four and a half if you count BYU."

Ahhhhh... take notes, Colorado. This is what makes a rivalry.