Salt Lake City – The Utah hoopsters won 88-69 Wednesday night in a game that featured Utah’s best opponent to date. The Utes record improves to 7-0 overall, as they head into the Thanksgiving break. The Utes jumped out to an early lead thanks in large part to the 4 early steals that Delon Wright had early in the first half. The Utes Princeton Onwas scored a bucket on the offensive end, and Wright stole the inbounds pass, and laid it in to stake the Utes to an early 10-3 lead, and the Utes never looked back. Wright was darn near perfect in this game, going 9 for 11 from the field, and 2-2 from the 3 point line. Wright also contributed 7 Assists, 4 rebounds, 5 steals, and 1 block.
The Cardinals wouldn’t go away though as they cut the lead to 6 at 56-50 with 11:00 to play before a Wright 3 pointer pushed the lead back to 9. The Utes quickly pushed the lead back to double digits on two great passes by Wright to Bachynski for easy dunks. It seemed like every time the Cardinals would hit a bucket, and look to be getting back in the game, the Utes had an answer for them.
The Utes size and length seemed to really bother the Cardinals as the Utes controlled the boards 44-24, and had many deflections, and steals attributed to the Utes length. The Utes shared the ball very well with 24 assists, and seemed at times to almost overpass making the extra pass all night long. There were times when it seemed that they had easy open looks, and passed up a good shot for an even better shot.
Onwas (who started his first game as a Ute) and Taylor also ended the game in double figures, with Onwas going for a double double at 13 and 10, and Taylor with his 17 points, of which he hit 6 out of 7 from the charity stripe. The Utes had 8 guys score, but the most impressive part of the night was that the Utes finished off the Cards, and won by 19 in a game where Jordan Loveridge struggled. Loveridge ended the game 2-12 from the field and was only 1-9 from the field in the first half. He still contributed, but was 0-4 from the 3 point stripe, and also turned it over a couple of times. Larry Krystkowiak was pleased overall though. He said that “it shows how far this team has come when Jordan can have the kind of night he did, and we still win by 19”.
The Utes should be thankful for the early season schedule that they have had, because after the thanksgiving holiday the competition stiffens up in the month of December. The Utes take on Boise in Boise on Tuesday night before taking on Fresno State, and then later BYU on the 14th. The Utes couldn’t have put themselves in any better position heading into December though as they look to continue their solid play against tougher competition.
Photo Gallery – Utah vs Ball St.