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Utah beats UVU 87-80

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Duke v Utah Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Utes got a handful from the UVU Wolverines on Tuesday night, as they eventually beat the Wolverines by a score of 87-80. The Utes actually had a 14 point lead in the 2nd half, that UVU eventually cut down and took the lead themselves.

We saw a lot of good things from the Utes tonight, on both sides of the ball, as well as some opportunities. On the offensive side of the ball, the Utes shot 51% from the floor and a good 45% from three point land. They were moving the ball well, and attacking the basket with a purpose, other than just mindless dribbling. They also only turned the ball over 11 times, with 14 assists. The Utes were also well balanced with five players in double figures led by JoJo Zamora’s 17, as well as 16 by Kyle Kuzma, 14 each by Tyler Rawson and Lorenzo Bonam, plus 11 from Parker Van Dyke. Speaking of Zamora, he is showing some potential as a nice offensive threat, as he was the major spark for the Utes in the 2nd half when UVU was making their push.

On defense, the Utes were ok, but they did allow UVU to shoot almost 50% at 49%. They did allow a lot of points in the paint, especially to Isaac Neislon who had 28 points on 13-of-20 shooting, with most of his points coming right at the basket. The Utes did start and play Rawson more than Jayce Johnson in the middle, and that may have something to do with it, as Johnson’s size can be a deterrent in the middle.

It was nice to see Utah respond when challenged with some adversity. After blowing the 14 point lead, UVU took a lead late in the game, and Utah responded well when punched in the mouth. Zamora and Rawson hit some timely threes to counter UVU’s run, and that’s promising for the future.

Next up the Utes travel to Xavier for a tough road game, their first of the season, on Saturday afternoon.