A 41 point win on the road may have just been what the Utes needed to bounce back.
Coming off the heels of a disappointing loss to the UCLA Bruins, the Runnin’ Utes got right back on track, and on the road in Pullman, Wash., they handily defeated the Washington State Cougars, 88-47.
Towards the end of the game, most of the Utah starters had retreated to the bench with the lead firmly in their grasp. Kyle Kuzma recorded his 10th double-double of the season as he finished the night with 19 points and 11 rebounds. He also added three assists to the scoresheet.
Lorenzo Bonam followed closely behind with 17 points, and he added three rebounds and three assists. Gabe Bealer and Sedrick Barefield each finished with 10 points, while Bealer had seven rebounds, and Barfield had four rebounds.
Overall, the Utes shot 57.9 percent from the floor, and they were 8-of-17 from three-point range. They turned the ball over just nine times whereas the Cougars coughed it up on 13 occasions.
Assistant coach DeMarlo Slocum was proud of his team’s ability to overcome that UCLA loss.
“The message was to lock in and understand the season didn’t end last week,” Slocum said. “We have such a great [home] crowd, and nothing against Washington State, but to be able to come into an environment that’s not so hostile, and create your own energy I thought was pretty good of our guys.”
In the first half, it was all about Utah as the Utes worked their way to a large lead early on.
The Utes opened up the game on an 11-2 run, and Washington State never fully recovered. In fact, the Utes continued to build onto their lead as the game went on. The Utes were also without David Collette, who has been a steady force for the Ute squad since joining the team in late December, but he stayed behind in Salt Lake City after experiencing some concussion symptoms.
In those first 20 minutes, Kuzma had already recorded his double-double.
By the time halftime rolled around, Utah held a 43-24 lead over Washington State following a buzzer beater from Bealer.
Opening up the second half, Washington State came out focused. The Cougars opened up the game on a 9-3 run to close the gap to 13 points. However, the Utes started to click, and they rallied off 10-0 run to bring the lead up to 23 points.
The second half continue to be more of the same for the Ute squad as the Utes eventually worked their way to a 32 point lead with about 10 minutes left to play. And with 1:35 left to play in the game, Utah had a 40 point lead, 87-47.
Washington State has now lost four games in a row, and Utah has a 4-2 record in conference play.&
The Utes will have a few days off, and on Saturday they will take on the Washington Huskies in Seattle at 6 p.m.