Can we just prep for the Arizona game? Because, this game was over before it began. Ok, maybe not before it began, but it was basically over at the 16:50 mark of the first half after Brandon Taylor hit the Utes' 5th consecutive three to open the game and jump to a 15-0 lead. Jordan Loveridge and Taylor hit the first five threes for the Utes, Loveridge 3 of his own, and Taylor 2. Utah would hit 16 threes on the night, 1 shy of the school record. Utah's lead ballooned to 30-2 and it was just silly at that point. Loveridge had 14 points on the night, but it was Brekkott Chapman that led the Utes in scoring with 15 points off the bench, and 9 rebounds. Taylor had 12 points and Dakari Tucker pitched in 10 of his own. Utah stud big man, Jakob Poeltl only had 7 points, but wasn't really needed during the game, as were most of the starters.
ASU was bad, and by bad, I mean awful. I've never seen a team give as little effort and give up as easily as they did in that first half. The were watching balls hit the floor and nobody cared; they'd turn the ball over and not contest on the way back. ASU played a ton of zone in this game, leaving Utah open all day long, and ASU didn't seem to care to rotate to their zone to contest a shot. Much of the game on the sideline Bobby Hurley, ASU's head coach, just seemed lost. Here's some more context how bad ASU was tonight. Utah hit more threes (16) than ASU did field goals (15). ASU had 15 turnovers, most of them not pretty at all, and Utah scored 25 points off those turnovers. It got to the point to where Utah's home crowd cheered when ASU scored a bucket. I'm not kidding, ASU got a put back and a foul to give them their 4th point and Utah's crowd cheered for them. It was a beating.
It was complete domination, just like the last time the Devils made the trip to SLC. Coach Hurley has quite a task in front of him to get ASU turned around, because those players he had tonight had no desire to compete.
Of course, this blowout really helps the Utes get ready for Arizona on Saturday. The extra rest they earned by sitting the starters much of the 2nd half will help with the quick turnaround. Arizona is coming off of a tough loss to Colorado in Boulder on Wednesday, and is the one team Utah is yet to beat in the Pac-12.
This will be the biggest game of the season on Saturday, and winning big like this will help the confidence, which hopefully will carry over.
See you Saturday.