Last time out there were high hopes prior to tip-off especially after seeing Branden Carlson warm-up, after a tight game for about the first 10 minutes of the game the wheels fell off and the Utes lost to Washington State 71-54. It’s hard not to feel that Wednesday night was a setback after we had played much better in previous games, but in college basketball, there’s never much time to regroup and the Utes will travel to Seattle to face the Washington Huskies desperately seeking to end their 9 game losing streak. The Utes enter the game today with an 8-13 record overall and 1-10 in conference play. Both Gach leads the team with 10.1 points per game. The Utes committed 19 turnovers against Washington State and were outrebounded 39-29. The Utes will have to play with a lot more discipline and desire if they are going to beat the Huskies today. The last time Utah played Washington was January 6 (game 3 of their current losing streak) and the Utes led at one point in that game by 15 before being unable to withstand a furious Washington comeback as the Huskies won 74-68. The Washington Huskies enter the game with a 10-8 record overall and 5-3 in conference play. Terrell Brown Jr. leads the Huskies with 21.2 points per game and is absolutely the player Utah needs to limit today. Washington is coming off a 60-58 win Thursday night at home against Colorado. This game certainly presents a winnable opportunity for the Utes to finally end this 9 game losing streak. Let’s get it done Utes!
When: Saturday, January 29 at 3 pm MT
Where: Seattle, WA (Alaska Airlines Arena)
How to Watch: PAC 12 Network
The biggest news ahead of tip-off is that Dusan Mahorcic has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules. As soon as we have more information we will bring it to you.
14:00- The game flying back as the first timeout comes with 13:42 left in the first half and Utah leads the Huskies 7-6. Both teams are shooting under 40% to start the game. Rollie Worster leads the Utes with 5 points, definitely a good sign after he was extremely loose with the basketball in their last game.
11:00- Game tied at 9-9 and definitely a very free-flowing game to start with the officials reluctant to call some fouls early. One worrying sign is Utah has been outrebounded 9-5 with Washington getting 4 offensive rebounds. Washington State killed the Utes last time with offensive rebounds so the Utes will have to box out and close the rebounding disparity.
8:00- Critical time for the Utes as their offense is struggling and Washington has taken advantage to get a 19-12 lead. Nate Roberts is causing all kinds of problems for Utah as he has 8 points and is getting seemingly every rebound. This has plagued the Utes all year, significant stretches without scoring and they must find a way to get better shots. Washington’s defense is causing some problems with their full-court press and intense defense and Utah must find an answer.
5:00- Great response from Utah to lead 20-19 before Washington hits back-to-back 3’s to take a 25-20 lead. Prior to the two 3’s the Utes were playing much better defense and forcing some turnovers and David Jenkins Jr. has been hitting some big shots early. It would be great to see Jenkins get going; he’s been inconsistent this year.
3:00- After a frenetic couple of minutes Washington leads 27-25. Rollie Worster with a great effort in this first half as he has 10 points including a little bank shot layup as the shot clock went off to get Utah a crucial basket. Great moment just before the timeout as David Jenkins Jr. took a terrible 3 pointer in transition (missed badly) before hustling back to draw an offensive foul. The Utes are struggling in the paint as Washington is outscoring the Utes 18-2 in the paint.
0:00- Tough end to the first half as Terrell Brown Jr. hits a stepback 3 as time expires to give the Huskies a 34-30 lead at the break. Nate Roberts has a season-high 11 points in the first half and Terrell Brown Jr. leads all scorers with 12 points. Rollie Worster leads the Utes with 10 points and David Jenkins Jr. has 7 points in the first half. Washington is shooting 54.2% from the field compared to 44% for the Utes. Utah is being outrebounded 14-9 which has greatly contributed to the big night from Nate Roberts. Utah responded well after going down by 7 to lead before Washington did just enough to give themselves a 2 possession lead at the half. Utah is going to need to force some tougher shots from Washington in the second half and control the paint defensively if we are going to grind out a win. Get it done Utah, let’s end this 9 game losing streak!
16:00- Utah with some poor offensive possession as they have two straight possessions in which they nearly take up the entire shot clock before attempting a quick last-second shot only to have it blocked. Washington has made the Utes pay for their poor offense as the Huskies now lead 40-32; their largest lead of the game. The Utes need better ball movement and have to close out their 3 point shooters who have had some good looks throughout the game.
15:00- The Utes get a big 3 after a steal and trail Washington 40-35. Unfortunately, Nate Roberts gets fouled on another big offensive rebound on the other end. The Utes need to start building some momentum and make a run.
14:00- Quick timeout is taken but Utah on an 8-0 run and it’s tied at 40-40 in Seattle. This has been a critical point in Utah’s last couple of games so an important stretch coming up.
12:00- Lazar Stefanovic hit a big 3 in the corner to temporarily give the Utes a 43-40 lead after an impressive 11-0 run in the span of 4 minutes but Washington answers with a couple of baskets of their own to take a 44-43 lead at the timeout. The Utes are definitely showing a ton of intensity as Branden Carlson hitting the deck to get after a loose ball led to a Gabe Madsen dunk. Good effort and fight back from the Utes; hopefully we can pull it out.
8:00- Another solid stretch for the Utes as they lead Washington 51-48. The Utes are definitely increasing the tempo and are much more willing to attack the paint in the second half and it has paid off with some easy baskets. Washington has committed 12 turnovers and Utah has been able to convert. The Utes have to be smart with the basketball if they are going to win.
4:00- Oh man, this is going to be a nailbiter the whole way as Utah leads the Huskies 53-52. Weird game from the officiating crew as they are allowing a lot of contact as both teams are battling for every loose ball; should make for a physical final four minutes.
2:00- Game tied at 55-55 and after a huge offensive rebound and a big kick out to Lazar Stefanovic he hits a massive 3 to give the Utes a 58-55 lead with under two minutes to go. Buckle up Utes, let’s grind this out!
1:00- Big defensive possession for the Utes which leads to a foul on Marco Anthony after a fast break but he only hits 1 free throw. The Utes then get another big defensive stop. Free throws could be critical down the stretch.
0:00- Washington hits two critical free throws with 16 seconds left and Both Gach can’t hit the shot at the buzzer and we are headed to overtime in Seattle. Ball security again an issue as the Utes struggled to handle the full-court pressure from the Huskies. Stefanovic and Worster with 4 fouls each, definitely something to keep an eye on.
4:00- Rollie Worster almost immediately fouls out in overtime; the Utes will need to rely on David Jenkins Jr. to help handle the ball down the stretch. Utah leads 64-61 with a free throw coming from Both Gach. The Utes have to handle the pressure from Washington’s full-court press.
2:00- Utah still leads 65-63 but Branden Carlson with 4 fouls and Bey just fouled out for Washington.
1:00- Branden Carlson with a massive 3 to give Utah a 68-66 lead.
0:00- Unbelievable as Stefanovic called for a travel and Terrell Brown is stripped as Washington attempted to get a last-second shot but Both Gach can’t get off a shot at the buzzer. Double overtime. Incredible game.
3:00- Rough start to double overtime as Washington leads 74-69 after a couple of huge 3’s. Unfortunately, we have been extremely wasteful on offense as Stefanovic and then Gach end possessions with traveling violations.
0:00- I feel absolutely gutted after that one. The Utes had a great opportunity to win the game in regulation but once again poor ball security and turnovers doom the Utes. Utah falls to Washington 77-73. The Utes ended the game with 20 turnovers compared to 16 for the Huskies. The Utes shot 38.8% from the field compared to 44.1% for the Huskies. Free throws were definitely critical as the Huskies got to the line 27 times and converted 19 free throws compared to the Utes who were 13-16. Branden Carlson led the Utes with 18 points and Terrell Brown Jr. led all scorers with 29 points. The loss of Dusan Mahorcic was definitely felt in this one as his size would have been extremely helpful. The Utes are now on a 10 game losing streak. The Utes will have a few days to regroup as they will be back in action Thursday night in Salt Lake City.
Next Up: Utah vs Oregon State on February 3rd at 7 pm MT on ESPNU