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Utah Basketball: Utah Runnin' Utes Beat Colorado Buffaloes on a buzzer beating lay-up, 56-54

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't pretty, at all, but it's a win, and a much needed win at that, as the Utes knocked off the Buffs for their first Pac-12 win of the season, 56-54. The Utes were led by Lorenzo Bonam, who had 17 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists on 7-of-12 shooting, and of course, had the game winning layup with a second left on the game clock. Kyle Kuzma pitched in 12 points and Jordan Loveridge had 9 of his own, on 3-of-6 shooting from three point land. Utah star center, Jakob Poeltl really struggled on the night offensively, as he had 6 points on 2-of-8 shooting. Poeltl was effective on the defensive side, as he held CU center Josh Scott to 5-of-12 from the floor. Colorado was led by George King's 21 points and Josh Scott had 10 of his own.

One bugaboo for Utah throughout the season has been turnovers. Utah only had 11 turnovers on the night, most of which came in the first half. The Utes held the lead for much of the first half, although it was never more than four points and really couldn't get in a consistent rhythm. Both teams struggled to score, and opened the game a combined 0-of-9 from the field and went to the first media time out with a 3-2 score. Utah shot 41% in the first half, while CU shot 28%, giving Utah a 2 point lead at half. There was good tough defense throughout the first half by both teams, with a lot of contested shots, making this game similar to the Stanford game, just a grinder.

The second half was a half of runs, and Utah's defense really let up the first 10 minutes. CU opened the half hitting their first 6 shots and held a 9 point lead half way through the second. Poeltl really struggled in the second half, as he missed multiple point blank shots, was saddled with foul trouble, and struggled with Scott's size in the paint. He was potent on the boards, though, with 11 rebounds.

When it looked like CU was going to make a final run and put the game away, Utah's defense started to lock down, holding them to one-and-done possessions. Loveridge and Bonam started to claw Utah back into the game on the offensive side, really beginning with some big threes by Loveridge. Utah only shot 39% from the field in the second half, while the Buffs shot 52%, but hit one more three than CU, and hit five free throws, while CU went 0-of-1 from the stripe.

Utah finished the game on an 11-2 run, and the last four minutes were dominated by Bonam. After two Poeltl free throws, Bonam hit a massive three to pull the Utes to within two at 50-52. He proceeded to hit Poeltl for a big layup to tie up the game with 1:39 left; and followed that up with a steal to setup the final play of the game with 24 seconds left. The play that was drawn up by coach Larry Krystkowiak in a timeout was an isolation play for Bonam at the top of the key, to take his defender one-on-one. Bonam drove to the basket and put up a left handed floating layup over the arms of Josh Scott, the ball seemed to hang on the rim forever before falling through with 1.1 seconds remaining.

Utah now improves to 1-2 in Pac-12 play, as they dropped the two games in the Bay Area last week. The Utes will return to the Huntsman Center to take on the Oregon schools next week, beginning with Oregon on Thursday, and finishing with Oregon State on Sunday.