It’s tough to go on the road to Arizona, but the Utes have been competitive every time they’ve gone down there. It was no different Thursday night as they dropped a Pac-12 game 66-56. For the Utes, it was a game of draughts and reeling the Wildcats back in, while Arizona would make another mini run to keep Utah at arm’s length.
A couple of things really jump out from this game, and some of them aren’t very good. First, Utah was 4 of 21 from three point range. That’s not going to cut it. Arizona wasn’t much better going 4 of 14, but at some point you need to consistently knock down a deep ball. Utah was also -11 in the rebounding column, which due to Arizona’s size isn’t a huge surprise, but with David Collette battling foul trouble all night long, that doesn’t help either. To go along with the foul conversation, Utah only shot 4 free throws on the night... FOUR! Meanwhile, Arizona was 14 of 17. Now, aggression plays a role in that, namely someone like Kuzma hoisting up too many threes, but come on, no way should the free throw column be that lopsided... talk about home cookin’.
With that said, Utah had this game within a possession and was threatening late in the game. The Utes only had 8 turnovers on the night, so Utah is trending the right direction there. Collette continued to play well, with 13 points on 6 of 7 shooting, while Devon Daniels had 12 points. Sedric Barefield continues to struggle, but he hit some shots in the second half that may have given him a little more confidence, and ended up with 9 points. Lorenzo Bonam and Kuzma had 10 points between them, and for two leaders on this team, that’s nowhere near good enough. Especially Bonam only having 2 of those 10 points.
Utah now moves on to play Arizona State, a team they should beat on the road. I’m pretty impressed with the Utes over the last couple of games. I’ve been very skeptical of them, but they’re showing me something that may scare some people later this season.