The Utes pulled themselves to within a game of first place in the Pac-12 with a utterly dominating victory over Washington State on Sunday by a score of 88-47. Utah was led by Jakob Poeltl's 25 points and 10 boards on 11-of-14 shooting. Jordan Loveridge pitched in 14 points, Brekkott Chapman had 12 and Kyle Kuzma had 10 points and 9 rebounds. WSU was led by Que Johnson's 13 points.
Utah started the game really sloppy, and were actually tied with WSU at 6 at the first media timeout. Utah couldn't get into a rhythm at all, especially with Wazzu's early turnovers. Utah was able to finally establish Poeltl in the post, and then they were off and running with a 40-21 halftime lead on the back of the big man's 16 points in the half.
It was more of the same in the second, as Jakob was patrolling the middle, setting the tone for the others. Utah shot 53% on the game, and 47% from deep (8-of-17). Defensively Utah frustrated Wazzu, and it helps that the Cougars did themselves no favors with some careless possessions, as they had 20 turnovers. Utah kept Josh Hawkinson, arguably WSU's best player, limited all game long, as he only had 4 points on 2-of-4 shooting.
Chris Reyes was out for the game, and there could have been a depth concern (more so than normal) if Poeltl or Kuzma go into foul trouble, but fortunately both Utah's bigs did a great job of staying clean most of the game.
Utah was very efficient on offense, as they have been for the last couple of games. Utah only turned the ball over 8 times, which has been a major problem all season. It's amazing to thing of what the Utes could do if they keep their turnover numbers down the rest of the season.
The Utes now going to Southern California this next week to take on UCLA and USC. Utah has to keep up this play if they want a chance to win the regular season title, and need a bit of help. If Utah keeps up this level of play though, they'll put themselves in a really good position.