Men’s Basketball: Late-Game Run Gives Utah 73-63 Win Over Texas Tech, Advances to Semifinals

2015 MBB Puerto Rico TT-9334 Emily Juchau

Quick recap — The Utah men’s basketball team won its first game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off against Texas Tech, 73-63 on Thursday evening. With the win, the Utes advance to play Miami in the semifinals.2015 MBB Puerto Rico TT-9154

Texas Tech gave the Utes a challenge the entire night, and every time the Utes went on a run, the Red Raiders answered right back. However, a late-game run by Utah was too much for Texas Tech to handle, as it struggled to close the gap.

The Utes led by as many as 13 points, and Jordan Loveridge continued his fast start to the season with 18 points and five boards. Brandon Taylor seemed to find his stride Thursday night as he finished the game with 11 points of his own.

“Our intensity just picked up, and we got down into it defensively,” Taylor said in a press release. “We tried to slow down a little bit on offense and really just capitalize and hold onto the basketball as much as we could. We dialed in defensively and offensively.”

Foul trouble — Jakob Poeltl sat the majority of the first half on the bench with two fouls, as did Kyle Kuzma, who recorded his fourth foul early in the second half.2015 MBB Puerto Rico TT-9375

Despite having four fouls each, both were playing in the last minutes of the game because head coach Larry Krystkowiak trusted they would do a better job of keeping their hands to themselves.

Poeltl continued to be aggressive all night long and finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.

“We ended up on our backs a lot of times, laying on the ground, pointing fingers at each other, telling each other to block out,” Krystkowiak said in a press release. “We had to play more physical to have a chance to win that game.”

Kuzma, on the other hand, only finished with two points and seven rebounds.

Bonam breaks out — Lorenzo Bonam started his second straight game for the Utes and was attacking the basket the entire night. He finished with a career-high 20 points. He was 6-of-11 from the floor and had four assists, seven rebounds and one steal.

k.brenneisen@dailyutahchronicle.com

@kbrenneisen