Pullman, WA – The Utah Men’s basketball team traveled to Pullman as the Utes battle the Cougars of WSU in PAC-12 play on Sunday afternoon. The Utes started by their twitter handles Brandon Taylor @Brandont824, Dakarai Tucker @DakaraiTucker, Delon Wright @_DWright55, Jeremy Olsen @JeremyOlsen41, and Jordan Loveridge @JordanLoveridge. While the WSU Cougars started: Dexter Kernich-Drew, Railey, Woolridge, Que Johnson, and D.J. Shelton.
The score at the end of the first half was 24-19 as both teams started off shooting poorly. The Utes continued playing the same defense they used to stay close in the Washington game but this time the difference was after the slow start, they started making shots. The Utes used an 12-0 run including 8 straight for Jordan Loveridge to put Utah ahead 19-9 for their biggest lead of the first half.
The Utes also had a scare in the first half as Renan Lenz came down awkwardly on his left ankle and had to be helped off the floor.
The second half saw Washington State come out playing a zone and it really made a difference in the game as Utah has really struggled shooting on the road. WSU took the lead and the Utes continued to struggle as they have on all three losses earlier in the year when a game is on the line and the Utes need a score to win or tie.
Washington State goes up 49-46 with 6.8 seconds remaining after makes 2 free throws. The Cougars call time and Loveridge throws the ball into Wright who was fouled since they lead was three. Wright missed the first free throw so he had to miss the second to give Utah a chance. Wright was able to tip the ball out to the right
corner to Brandon Taylor for a three to tie the game but the shot was short and didn’t even hit rim. The Utes lost by three in Pullman as Washington State erases a 12 point deficit to win 49-46. Utah falls to 1-3 in Pac-12 play and 12-4 overall.
Utah four losses of this season are by a total of 9 points with this 3 point loss the largest margin the Utes have lost by. Winning for the Utes will be hard until the Utes can come up with a way to score. Their defense and rebounding is solid but the Utes shot just 29% for the game and 20% in the 2nd half. This will not get it done on the road for the Utes in this conference.
The Utes were led by Jordan Loveridge who scored 15 points and had 5 rebounds and no assists. Delon Wright filled up the stat sheets with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists. Ten Utes made it into the game including Marko Kovacevic who played for the first time in PAC-12 play.
The Cougars were led by Que Johnson with 14 points and three rebounds and Dexter Kernich-Drew scored 11 and two rebounds.
Next up for the Utes are two home games. The Utes play USC on Thursday and UCLA on Saturday afternoon.