Salt Lake City – Jordan Loveridge started the game on fire knocking down threes and Delon Wright kept the fire going in the second half as Utah takes down BYU 81-64 at the Huntsman Center Saturday night ending a seven-game losing streak against the Cougars.
Jordan Loveridge scored 12 points in the first six minutes of the contest as Utah started quickly taking an early lead over BYU. BYU scored the first bucket of the game by freshman Eric Mika to take their only lead of the game as Loveridge responded with a jumper for two and followed with a three-pointer after Mika missed both free-throw attempts on the other side of the court. The Utes never looked back leading by as many as 23 points with just under four minutes to play.
The Mighty Utah Student Section (MUSS) turned out in full force for the Utes. There was also a big turn out for the Cougars as well with a very vocal group cheering from the rafters of the Huntsman Center. The Cougar’s chant of “We can’t hear you” was quickly overcome with the Utah fans cheering over the top of them. The fan turn out was fantastic and it was nice to see the Huntsman Center back to capacity. Utah Coach Larry Krystkowiak mentioned multiple times in his post game press conferences how pleased he was with the turn out. There was no mention of the “Just Like Football” chant which rang loud and clear in the waning moments of the game.
Another notable item was the ability of the Utes to neutralize Cougar freshman big man Eric Mika. Coach Krystkowiak had a great game plan for the Cougars which included swarming the person with the ball. BYU seemed to be content to play as individuals and Matt Carlino was having a terrible night shooting but continued to chuck the ball up. Carlino ended up shooting 3-15 and 1-5 from behind the arc with no assists. Mika was also called for a flagrant 2 technical foul which came with an automatic ejection. Mika fouled Utah center Dallin Bachynski hard as he was going to the hoop with a blow that was deemed to have no attempt at the ball.
Utah Women’s Basketball also defeated the Cougars with a 82-74 Double-OT Win At BYU. Utah freshman forward Emily Potter had a nice double-double and four other Utes reached double figures to lead the University of Utah women’s basketball team to the win over BYU. The win provided three additional points to the overall score of the Deseret First Credit Union Duel contest with the win Saturday in the Marriott Center.
Utah gains 10 more points with the Men’s basketball team win and 3 for the Women in the Deseret First Credit Union Duel. The duel is a contest between the two schools in all sports that total the points for a winner at the end of the year. Utah currently leads the duel 23-6 winning 10 points for both football and basketball while BYU has earned their 6 points by defeating Utah in Soccer and Women’s Volleyball.
The Utah Men’s Hockey team also defeated BYU for the trifecta of Utah Wins Saturday. Unfortunately, the Hockey win doesn’t count in the standing for the Deseret Duel.
The Utah Runnin’ Utes Basketball team takes a short break for finals and returns to action next Thursday at home against the Bobcats Texas State. The game will be at 7:00 PM at the Huntsman Center on the University of Utah campus. Visit the Sports Calendar to see all the Utah Sporting News covered events.