The Utes snapped their 2 game skid by beating Washington by a score of 90-82 on Wednesday night. It was an offensive shootout, as the Utes had 5 (almost 6) players score in double figures. Utah was led by Jakob Poeltl's 23 points, and he was joined by Lorenzo Bonam's 18, Jordan Loveridge's 16, Brandon Taylor's 15 and Chris Reyes' 10, yes, Reyes hit double figures. Kyle Kuzma had 8 of his own. Washington was led by Marquese Chriss' 24 points and Andrew Andrews' 22 points.
After a terrible Oregon trip, Utah needed a win in the worst way to keep pace in the Pac-12. Utah jumps to 7-5 in conference play, tying UW with the same record; USC and Arizona also have 7 wins - both teams Utah plays still.
It was an offensive shootout, as Utah shot 67% from the field, and was actually up to 70% late in the game. They also put down 10-of-17 (59%) from deep, and seemingly couldn't miss from downtown much of the night. They did struggle a bit from the free throw line, going 10-of-17. Utah had 50 points in the paint, and was often time just strolling down the lane for layups and/or dunks, led by Bonam's aggression toward the basket.
Utah still had their same turnover problems, however, as they registered 17 on the night, 12 in the first half. Most of UW's offense early was a result of those turnovers, on the night UW had 26 points off turnovers. Utah did close that gap, as they got 24 of their own off of 16 Huskies turnovers. Utah ball movement much of the night was wonderful, as they had 26 assists on their 35 made baskets, that's very, very good.
Utah's defense wasn't that great on the night, as they gave up 48% from the field, a lot of which came in the paint for the Huskies (42 points). The Utes' were able to limit UW's threes to 7-of-22 (32%). Even while Utah was shooting very well on the night, it wasn't until the last 7 minutes when they were able to get some breathing room, as UW was within single digits, and at times a point, for much of the game. Arguably the defining sequence of the game for Utah was during a run where Taylor hit a three, Loveridge got one of his own the next trip down, and Bonam, after missing a layup, stole the ball back under the basket and got a layup to fall to push the lead to 77-65 with 6:47 remaining.
Next up for the Utes are the Washington State Cougars on Valentines Day.