Utah uses balanced scoring to defeat WSU

Utah uses balanced scoring to defeat WSU

Utah uses balanced scoring to defeat WSU

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by Associated Press

KREM.com

Posted on February 8, 2014 at 9:07 PM

SALT LAKE CITY -- Brandon Taylor had 16 points and Jordan Loveridge chipped in 13 to lead Utah to an 81-63 victory over Washington State on Saturday night.

Delon Wright added 11 points and nine assists for Utah. Six different players scored in double figures for the Utes (16-7, 5-6 Pac-12) who beat the Cougars in their home arena for the 12th consecutive time. Utah has not lost a home game to Washington State since the first meeting between the two teams in 1946.

DaVonte Lacy scored 22 points for the Cougars (9-14, 2-9) and D.J. Shelton added 19 points and 10 rebounds. It wasn't enough keep Washington State from losing for the ninth time in its last 12 games.

Utah dominated around the basket and in transition. The Utes outscored Washington State 42-18 in the paint, had a 10-0 edge in fast break points and shot 56.7 percent from the floor.

Washington State started cold on offense and never quite found a rhythm in the first half. The Cougars missed eight of their first nine shots from the field. They shot just 34.5 percent (10 of 29) from the field and 16.7 percent (2 of 12) from distance before halftime.

Utah took advantage, claiming a 9-3 lead. Wright converted a three-point play and a layup to fuel the scoring. Shelton brought the Cougars back within striking distance after making three baskets and assisting a layup by Lacy over four straight possessions to cut Utah's lead to 13-12.

That's as close as Washington State could get. The Utes scored 10 unanswered points -- culminating in an acrobatic layup from Princeton Onwas -- to take a 23-12 lead. Utah led by as much as 20 points before halftime. The Utes went ahead 42-22 when Taylor drove for a layup with 1:12 left in the half.

Washington State closed the gap again after halftime. The Cougars cut Utah's lead to ten after Lacy drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 48-38. Loveridge cut to the hoop for a layup to stop the run and then he and Taylor each drained a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions to put Utah back ahead 56-40 with 11:54 remaining.

The Cougars had one more run left in them. Lacy hit another 3-pointer and a pair of 3-pointers to spark a 10-3 spurt for Washington State. When Ike Iroegbu capped the run with a 3-pointer, the Cougars trailed 59-50 with 8:53 left.

Utah slammed the door on comeback efforts after Taylor drilled a 3-pointer to spark a decisive 12-4 run. Utah capped the run with a slam dunk from Onwas and a layup from Olsen on back-to-back possessions to take a 72-54 lead with 4:39 remaining in the game.

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