Last time out there were high hopes prior to tip-off especially after seeing Branden Carlson warm-up, after a tight game for about the first 10 minutes of the game the wheels fell off and the Utes lost to Washington State 71-54. It’s hard not to feel that Wednesday night was a setback after we had played much better in previous games, but in college basketball, there’s never much time to regroup and the Utes will travel to Seattle to face the Washington Huskies desperately seeking to end their 9 game losing streak. The Utes enter the game today with an 8-13 record overall and 1-10 in conference play. Both Gach leads the team with 10.1 points per game. The Utes committed 19 turnovers against Washington State and were outrebounded 39-29. The Utes will have to play with a lot more discipline and desire if they are going to beat the Huskies today. The last time Utah played Washington was January 6 (game 3 of their current losing streak) and the Utes led at one point in that game by 15 before being unable to withstand a furious Washington comeback as the Huskies won 74-68. The Washington Huskies enter the game with a 10-8 record overall and 5-3 in conference play. Terrell Brown Jr. leads the Huskies with 21.2 points per game and is absolutely the player Utah needs to limit today. Washington is coming off a 60-58 win Thursday night at home against Colorado. This game certainly presents a winnable opportunity for the Utes to finally end this 9 game losing streak. Let’s get it done Utes!
When: Saturday, January 29 at 3 pm MT
Where: Seattle, WA (Alaska Airlines Arena)
How to Watch: PAC 12 Network
The biggest news ahead of tip-off is that Dusan Mahorcic has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules. As soon as we have more information we will bring it to you.
14:00- The game flying back as the first timeout comes with 13:42 left in the first half and Utah leads the Huskies 7-6. Both teams are shooting under 40% to start the game. Rollie Worster leads the Utes with 5 points, definitely a good sign after he was extremely loose with the basketball in their last game.
11:00- Game tied at 9-9 and definitely a very free-flowing game to start with the officials reluctant to call some fouls early. One worrying sign is Utah has been outrebounded 9-5 with Washington getting 4 offensive rebounds. Washington State killed the Utes last time with offensive rebounds so the Utes will have to box out and close the rebounding disparity.
8:00- Critical time for the Utes as their offense is struggling and Washington has taken advantage to get a 19-12 lead. Nate Roberts is causing all kinds of problems for Utah as he has 8 points and is getting seemingly every rebound. This has plagued the Utes all year, significant stretches without scoring and they must find a way to get better shots. Washington’s defense is causing some problems with their full-court press and intense defense and Utah must find an answer.
5:00- Great response from Utah to lead 20-19 before Washington hits back-to-back 3’s to take a 25-20 lead. Prior to the two 3’s the Utes were playing much better defense and forcing some turnovers and David Jenkins Jr. has been hitting some big shots early. It would be great to see Jenkins get going; he’s been inconsistent this year.
3:00- After a frenetic couple of minutes Washington leads 27-25. Rollie Worster with a great effort in this first half as he has 10 points including a little bank shot layup as the shot clock went off to get Utah a crucial basket. Great moment just before the timeout as David Jenkins Jr. took a terrible 3 pointer in transition (missed badly) before hustling back to draw an offensive foul. The Utes are struggling in the paint as Washington is outscoring the Utes 18-2 in the paint.
0:00- Tough end to the first half as Terrell Brown Jr. hits a stepback 3 as time expires to give the Huskies a 34-30 lead at the break. Nate Roberts has a season-high 11 points in the first half and Terrell Brown Jr. leads all scorers with 12 points. Rollie Worster leads the Utes with 10 points and David Jenkins Jr. has 7 points in the first half. Washington is shooting 54.2% from the field compared to 44% for the Utes. Utah is being outrebounded 14-9 which has greatly contributed to the big night from Nate Roberts. Utah responded well after going down by 7 to lead before Washington did just enough to give themselves a 2 possession lead at the half. Utah is going to need to force some tougher shots from Washington in the second half and control the paint defensively if we are going to grind out a win. Get it done Utah, let’s end this 9 game losing streak!